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Laura Barnard

New Analysis Helps Construction Professionals Prioritize Energy Efficiency Improvements

WASHINGTON (January 27, 2011) — With residential buildings consuming approximately 20 percent of energy usage in the U.S., a new study by Newport Partners LLC, the Whole House Analysis of Energy Efficiency Upgrades for Existing Homes, offers insight into how construction professionals can help homeowners prioritize energy-saving retrofits.

The study, commissioned by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), examined dozens of energy efficiency upgrades, such as appliances, building envelope improvements, space conditioning systems, renewable energy, and domestic water heating systems, in 10 locations across five climate zones within the continental U.S. Key metrics of the study included simple payback and expected annual energy cost savings.

“Homeowners rely on construction professionals to know which upgrades are the most cost-effective for improving a home’s energy efficiency. This new study serves as a guide to answering commonly-asked questions about prioritizing energy upgrades,” said Tracy Burleson, director of residential programs for PERC. “Construction professionals can also use the study to help their customers proactively replace targeted mechanical systems that are near the end of their life, with high-efficiency equipment that will yield good returns on investment.”

A consistent performer across most climate zones was a high-efficiency propane furnace in lieu of a standard efficiency propane furnace. This option provided a payback of one year in mixed humid, very cold, and northeast regions, and averaged annual emissions savings of 2.52 to 3.76 metric tons of CO2. Additionally, the selection of an ENERGY STAR refrigerator versus a standard refrigerator, provides a payback of five to seven years, but with low annual emissions savings, averaging 0.03 to 0.07 metric tons of CO2.

To view the full study, visit www.buildwithpropane.com

About the Propane Education & Research Council

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of Public Law 104-284, the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), signed into law on October 11, 1996. The mission of the Propane Education & Research Council is to promote the safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas as a preferred energy source. To learn more about the organization, please visit www.propanecouncil.org, for information on building with propane, visit www.buildwithpropane.com