Analysis of Residential Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Homeowners, builders, contractors, and weatherization agencies today have a wide range of energy efficiency upgrades to choose from for existing homes. This course compares the popular upgrades and systems available to help you make the best choice for your projects. Making good decisions about improving an existing home's energy efficiency and lowering its energy costs can be challenging for a consumer. There are a wide variety of options available, all with certain benefits and costs. Homeowners and building professionals frequently ask, What are the most cost effective changes that I can make to improve energy efficiency?

This course is intended to serve as a guide in answering questions about prioritizing energy efficiency investments for existing homes. By closely examining a study commissioned by the Propane Education & Resource Council, the Analysis of Energy Efficiency Upgrades for Existing Homes, this course will provide objective information about the most effective measures and/or equipment choices across five climate regions.

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Residential Water Heaters under the New 2015 Federal Standards - An Analysis of Energy, Economics, and Emissions

Water heaters are often the second largest energy user in the home, costing residents hundreds of dollars each year. Beginning in April 2015, the updated “NAECA” standards from the U.S. Department of Energy increased water heater efficiency requirements, driving major product changes in the U.S. market. “NAECA” stands for the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act and includes the federal regulations for water heater minimum efficiency levels.

Against this backdrop of new standards, products, and decision-making factors, this course will review a detailed analysis of water heating systems. This analysis compares water heating technologies based on their energy, economic, and environmental performance, with a focus on the performance of propane-based systems relative to electric and heating oil alternatives. The course also reviews the new federal standards for water heaters, and describes the market implications for both new construction and replacements.

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Designing and Building High Performance Homes with Propane

Over the last 15 years, the U.S. homebuilding industry has seen a remarkable transformation. Residential building systems have rapidly evolved to offer unprecedented levels of efficiency and performance. This course provides a data-driven look at the role of propane as an energy option in today's high-performance homes. The course compares propane with other available energy sources in terms of its availability, applications, and environmental footprint. At the technology level, the course examines 12 different propane applications in terms of their functionality, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental impact.

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Propane as a Solution to Meeting Code and Above-Code Programs – Using High Efficiency Propane Systems as a Compliance Strategy

Nothing is driving greater change in the home building industry than energy efficiency, but prior to 2015 the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) didn’t address mechanical equipment such as furnaces and water heaters. The 2015 IECC now includes a new compliance path called the Energy Rating Index allowing builders more choices in how to meet the energy code. This course will take a closer look at how high efficiency propane equipment such as furnaces and water heaters provide flexibility in meeting 2015 IECC standards and help reduce a home’s HERS Index, in addition to helping projects gain points in above-code programs such as LEED and the National Green Building Standard.

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Propane Gas Systems: Considerations for Residential Construction

Propane heats homes, water and outdoor spaces, fuels clean, comforting fireplaces, cooks food, and dries clothes. Propane is also environmentally friendly, emitting fewer greenhouse gases than other fossil fuels and electricity. When planning and designing homes, architects should know that more than 12.6 million U.S. households rely on propane for their primary energy needs. Propane can be stored above ground or in underground propane tanks, an option many builders are choosing in order to fuel homes off the natural gas mains. This course will cover important considerations when planning for propane use in residential construction.

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Expanding Outdoor Living: Propane for Outdoor Residential Use

Propane gas is considered to be a clean alternative fuel by the EPA; it is a versatile and environmentally safe fuel source for healthy and sustainable living. Many people use propane to fuel their outdoor grills or barbecues, but its much more versatile than a cooking fuel in residential outdoor applications. This learning unit will explore alternative uses for propane, specifically for outdoor use in and around a home.

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Backup Power for Commercial Buildings

This On Demand CEU is a recorded presentation from a previously live webinar event. When the local power grid goes down a commercial building built today might incorporate backup power to be more resilient, to mitigate against financial losses, to protect life safety, to provide vital services, or some combination of these goals. This course covers this important topic, exploring the motivations for using backup power, relevant code and standard requirements, and the fuel options for backup power generators.

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Propane Micro-CHP for Homes and Commercial Buildings

Micro-Combined Heat and Power (Micro-CHP) technology brings onsite power generation to homes and businesses. Local generation means convenient, high-efficiency energy at a low cost with minimal waste. Thanks to propane fuel, micro-CHP brings these advantages to locations that have limited access to natural gas, such as rural communities, and areas with poor power supply.

Using multiple case studies, this course covers the hows and whys of micro-CHP systems. We'll detail how power is generated, the best uses for it, and why it makes sense in a wide range of locations and situations. We'll also include limitations and how they are overcome.

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Energy Options for Off Grid Homes - The Role of Propane in Off Grid Designs

Off Grid Homes, or homes that are completely independent of traditional utilities like the electric grid, are an increasingly popular design option. There are several motivations for an Off Grid Home design, such as a remote location or very expensive costs for a grid connection.

The energy systems for an Off Grid Home differ significantly from those used in most grid-connected homes, and typically incorporate renewables, battery storage, and a back-up power generator. The selection of appliances and other energy-consuming devices in an Off Grid Home is a detailed process that relies on energy efficiency, non-electric alternatives for thermal loads, and careful design of the home’s envelope. This course discusses all of these issues.

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Community Propane Systems, An Energy and Technology Solution for Developers, Builders, and Homeowners

Gas appliances like ranges, fireplaces, and furnaces are important amenities that many home buyers want in a new home. However in some residential developments, natural gas access may not be feasible and on-site propane storage may also have challenges. Community Propane Systems offer an innovative method for supplying propane to the all of the homes in a community through a centralized delivery system.

Community Propane Systems give developers an option for offering gas access to building lots; they allow builders to offer gas appliance amenities to buyers; and they give home buyers the opportunity to get the technologies they want in a new home. This course discusses how community propane systems work, the use cases for these systems, the value propositions, and the performance benefits of common propane applications that can be used.

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