Are You Cooking With Gas Or Electric?
STOVES, RANGES AND OVENS
If you are considering buying a new range and oven, you can expect to live with your purchase for the next 20 years. The choice you make in the store can save you a little or a lot of money over the next two decades.
First, look beyond the initial price tag. All appliances have two costs - the purchase price, and the operating cost, or the money that you pay out month after month, year after year, in the form of your utility bills. That on-going expense is important to consider, for it may be as much or more than the purchase price.
Today, about 58 percent of American households cook with electricity, but gas cooking is making a steady comeback, for good reason. A gas stove costs less than half as much to operate as an electric one, provided it is equipped with electronic ignition instead of a pilot light. The electronic pilotless ignitions reduce gas usage by about 30 percent over a constantly burning pilot light. These are also more convenient, eliminating the need to restart a standing pilot light.
Consider the new Convection ovens. These are new designs that continually circulate heated air around the food being cooked. (Think of an oven with a built-in fan.) Convection ovens distribute heat more evenly than ordinary ovens, so cooking time and cooking temperatures can be reduced, cutting energy use by about a third, on average.
Cost of Cooking
This table from the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings compares the cost of cooking a casserole in several ways. It assumes the cost of gas is $.60 a therm, and electricity is $.08 a kWh.
|Electric Oven||350||1 hour||2.0 kWh||$.16|
|Electric Convection Oven||325||45 minutes||1.39 kWh||$.11|
|Gas Oven||350||1 hour||.112 therm||$.07|
|Electric Frying Pan||420||1 hour||.9 kWh||$.07|
|Toaster Oven||425||50 minutes||.95 kWh||$.08|
|Electric Crockpot||200||7 hour||.7 kWh||$.06|
|Microwave Oven||"High"||15 minutes||.36 kWh||$.03|
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