Defining Natural Gas and Propane

What is Natural Gas?

Natural gas is a fossil fuel, extracted from below the earth’s surface. Natural gas is mainly composed of methane, but it is actually a mixture of gasses, containing smaller amounts of propane, butane, and ethane.

What is Propane? 

Propane is a byproduct of both crude oil and natural gas.

3 Differences between Propane and Natural Gas

  1. Heat Energy Efficiency: Propane delivers more than twice the energy of natural gas as measured in BTUs (British Thermal Unit), which means a propane furnace will be a more efficient source of heat. To put it differently, a propane furnace will produce the same amount of heat using half the amount of fuel. This is an important factor to consider when the price of natural gas per unit is usually a bit more than propane. People often look at just the price, without considering the fact that a natural gas furnace will burn twice the amount of fuel as it’s propane counterpart.
  2. Clean and Green: While both natural gas and propane are clean burning, Propane is considered a green fuel, where natural gas is not. The difference is that propane is eco-friendly both before and after combustion. Propane is non-toxic and not damaging to the environment when leaked into the atmosphere. Natural gas, on the other hand, is composed mainly of methane, which when leaked into the environment before combustion is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases.
  3. Mode of Delivery: Natural gas is delivered through a pipeline on demand by whatever provider has pipeline rights in your neighborhood. Propane is stored in a tank on your property and delivered by a truck by the company of your choosing. Although the mode of delivery is one of the reasons for the price difference, storing propane in a tank on your property allows the homeowner greater flexibility. The natural gas user does not have a choice of which company they pay to deliver through their pipeline, but the propane user has complete control and can change providers at any point if dissatisfied with their service. Genesee Energy would love to have the opportunity to be your propane provider!