Reader’s question: Gas or electric – which is more eco friendly?

cookerOne of our readers posed a great question this week:

She said “I am remodeling my kitchen and excited about buying some new appliances.
However, I am curious, which is better for my monthly expenses and the environment?  Gas or electric stove /  range?”

Cheaper cooking

We would love to hear your thoughts on this and throw all questions open to our readers to have their say and share their experiences.

I would suggest that induction hobs are better for monthly expenses. You only heat what you need and all the heat goes to where it is needed – to cook your food.

With gas hobs the flame can lick around the sides of the pans which results in wasted heat.

Hobs with electric coil rings take  long time to heat up and are difficult to control; often you need to remove the pan from the ring altogether because it has become too hot – again, wasted energy.

Eco friendly cleaning

It’s good to take into account cleaning too! If you have gas or coil rings these can be tricky to clean if a pan boils over. This can require lots of hot water and chemical cleaners. Over the lifetime of your stove, this can add up considerably to the overall energy costs of using your appliance.

An induction or ceramic hob is smooth and a quick wipe with a cloth every day keeps it looking good.

Environmentally friendly cooking

Regarding the most eco friendly; gas is generally the better option in terms of overall carbon emissions. Burning natural gas produces heat more efficiently than electric heat sources, so on the hob part, less energy is needed to produce the same heat.

However, an electric fan oven will warm up much quicker than a gas oven. This is why many people favour a gas hob with an electric fan oven.

So here’s the deal; if you get your electricity from a company that only supplies renewable energy, then electricity would be the better option in terms of carbon emissions.

If you are not on a green tariff, then gas is the better option as electricity emits, on average, twice as much carbon as gas.

What we all need to do is start moving away from fossil fuels, so perhaps you could change your utility provider to a green tariff; one which uses renewable forms of energy to reduce your carbon footprint.

Energy rating

Once you’ve made up your mind on which stove to buy, look at the energy rating of the oven. Choosing an A-rated appliance or Energy Star rated appliance to help reduce your carbon footprint even more.

There are other things you can do to increase the energy efficiency of your cooking. We’ve covered some in our “eco friendly cooking – 5 tips” article and will have more on the site soon!

Do you have a burning question  to ask us about natural health or green living? Contact us and we’ll answer it on the site!


  1. Wilson Pon on September 18, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Mrs. Green, I’ve installed a solar panel on the roof of my house. In this case, I preferred the solar power, as it helps me to save a lot of electricity bill, especially in the water heating and electrical appliances!

  2. Mrs Green on September 24, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    @Wilson Pon: Hi Wilson, well solar is certainly the way to make an even greener choice!

    We have solar for lighting, but not for anything that produces heat such as cooking and heating.

  3. Jasper on November 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    A recent report by the energy regulator Ofgem into the UK’s energy supplies raised the possiblity of a gap opening up between supply and demand, resulting in power blackouts. Not everyone agrees this will happen. But what seems certain is that in an unstable global market, oil and gas prices will keep rising. This makes a solar hot water system, particularly an advanced and efficient one like the LaZer2 (manufactured in the UK by SolarUK) look more and more cost effictive.

    Another boost to the solar sector could come in the form of the feed-in tariff for small-scale energy producers, due to start in April next year.

  4. Mrs Green on November 11, 2009 at 7:39 am

    @Jasper: Hi Jasper, thanks for taking time to leave a comment. I’ve heard that we may experience black outs too. I had never heard of the Lazer2 system; I’ll look into it. So far we have about 500watts of panels for lighting, and I have to admit I’m really disappointed with them in terms of output 🙁

    I’m excited about the feed in tariff though; an incentive like that is useful for people

  5. Diane on May 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Ceramic hobs are a nightmare to keep looking all shiny and new. They need a gentle cleaning product and lots of scrubbing and polishing.

    For me it’s got to be gadgets that save you turning the oven on that work best in terms of reducing energy use. Chicken done on a george foreman style grill get cooked from both sides so it takes a lot less time to do.
    You can do oven chips on them too – but they take a little longer than the chicken! I’ve yet to try a fried egg – I think it’ll just slide down and off!

    You can pick up kitchen gadgets at car boots – but it pays to be careful and make sure something is safe first! My bf’s dad has a tester device to check things out!

  6. Mrs Green on May 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    @Diane: Funny, I don’t find that with the ceramic hob I have; it’s so easy to keep looking clean. I use a razor blade on the burnt on stuff. Great advice about using low energy gadgets; I love my slow cooker for that reason 🙂