Does a Gas Range Use More Energy Than an Electric Range?


Quick Answer

Gas ranges typically use far less energy than electric ranges, according to HowStuffWorks. Electric stoves require about three times as much energy as gas stoves, and the California Energy Commission states that most gas stoves cost about half as much to operate as electric stoves.

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Full Answer

The difference in energy usage between the two stove types hinges on the methods they use to generate heat. Electric stoves harness energy to heat the coils on the stove top, with more electricity flowing to the coil as the heat is turned up. A gas stove pumps natural gas to the stove burner, where it is mixed with air and then lit by an ignition system. Most modern gas stoves use an electronic ignition system, which creates a brief spark to ignite the gas. Harnessing natural gas is far cheaper and more energy efficient than using electricity, making gas ranges a better investment in the long run.

The only exception to this rule is the use of gas stoves with a pilot light. Older stoves often use a pilot light for ignition, which constantly burns even when the stove is not being used. Because the light is always on, a gas stove with a pilot light uses far more natural gas than a stove with an electric igniter and may use more energy overall than an electric stove.

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