Why do some gas stoves use electricity

Electric or gas: comparison of the energy consumption of stoves

Preparing hot food on a kitchen stove consumes energy. Because this creates costs, most consumers generally try to keep energy consumption as low as possible. Nevertheless, the energy used for cooking in private households only accounts for a relatively small part of the energy consumption. Statements about exact numbers are difficult to determine. The individual cooking habits are too different. The energy source also plays an important role. Overall, the estimated share of food preparation in total energy consumption in private households is around 2%1. In principle, four technologies are currently available for the preparation of warm dishes, whereby we leave out cooking with a wood oven and the popular grilling. One thing in advance: Cooking with gas in particular scores extremely well in cost accounting for various reasons.

Classic electric stove

In the case of electric stoves, the cooking surfaces are heated by supplying electricity. In principle, such stoves have been around for over 120 years. At the beginning, iron spirals were made to glow. For reasons of handling, plates made of cast iron replaced the iron spirals in the 1950s. The disadvantage of this technique is the time factor. For one thing, it takes a certain amount of time before the plates are ready to cook. On the other hand, the plates stay warm for a long time after being switched off - ultimately a waste of energy. The advantages of the technology are the relatively low acquisition costs for such stoves (around € 300 to € 600) and the fact that almost any cookware can be used. Floors that are as smooth as possible are important here, because the better the contact with the plate, the less energy is required.

Cooker with ceramic hobs

The ceramic stove also works with electricity. Ceran is a special type of glass that, on the one hand, allows thermal radiation to pass through very well and, on the other hand, has a low thermal conductivity. This is why metal spirals under the glass plate of ceramic stoves are made to glow. Their heat radiation is transferred to the saucepans with almost no loss. Advantage: The cooking heat takes effect within a short time, can be regulated relatively precisely and switched off quickly when the cooking process is finished. The use of energy is therefore more efficient than with a hotplate stove. Another advantage is the uncomplicated cleaning of the hob. As with the electric stove, the demands on the pots are not particularly high. However, depending on the version, the purchase prices for ceramic stoves are higher than those of a stove with cast iron plates.

Induction cooker

These stoves have been in use since 1984, initially in catering. An induction cooker also has a smooth surface made of glass ceramic, divided into hobs. Magnetic coils under the hobs generate heat with the help of an induced current flow in the bottom of the cookware. However, special saucepans must be used with these stoves, which have magnetizable iron cores in the bottom to which the energy is transferred. The advantage of induction stoves is that the energy acts directly on the pot and is not conveyed via a plate to be heated or a heating coil made to glow. Since the glass plate hardly heats up, very little energy is lost. The advantage is the very efficient use of energy and the fact that both the start and the end of the cooking process take place immediately. However, the purchase price for induction cookers is still the highest in comparison. Higher costs must also be expected for the pots.

Gas stove

The first gas-powered stoves were developed around 200 years ago. With gas stoves, natural gas is fed to a fuel element in a controlled manner, which is then ignited. Direct gas hobs are extremely economical compared to electric stoves. They transfer the heating energy directly to the pots without an intermediate element. In addition, these do not have to be made of a special material or have flat floors: On a gas stove, food can be efficiently heated with any dented pot. In addition, gas stoves are unbeatable, with some models costing as little as € 280. Another advantage: gas stoves are also by far the front runners when it comes to energy costs. However, not all that glitters is gold, cleaning is sometimes perceived as a possible disadvantage.

Comparison of the energy consumption of the cooker

As we have seen, not all cooking systems have the same efficiency, which is due to technical reasons. This affects the amount of energy that has to be used to achieve the desired cooking result. In order to compare the systems, it is advisable to assume a comparable cooking result.

Therefore, here is an overview of the values ​​for the necessary Energy that is needed to make 1.5 liters of water for boiling bring to.

  1. Induction cooker: 0.18 kWh
  2. Cooker with ceramic hobs: 0.22 kWh
  3. Electric stove: 0.26 kWh
  4. Gas stove: 0.33 kWh 3

However, if you have the Cost side considered, the result is very different. In order to bring 1.5 liters of water to the boil, the consumer pays the following amounts for the cookers under consideration:

  1. Gas stove: 1.5 cents 4
  2. Induction cooker: 3.0 cents
  3. Cooker with ceramic hobs: 3.8 cents
  4. Electric stove: 4.5 cents

The explanation for this difference is based on the different prices for electricity and gas. While you pay an average of around 30.5 cents for a kilowatt hour for electricity, it costs just 5.7 cents for natural gas. (BDEW, electricity and gas price analysis July 2019)

This then results in the following ranking of Energy costs for cooking in a period of 10 years:

  1. Gas stove: 420 to 580 euros
  2. Induction cooker: 800 to 1,000 euros
  3. Ceramic stove: 1,000 to 1,200 euros
  4. Electric stove: 1,200 to 1,500 euros

Conclusion: Cooking gas is unbeatably cheap

If you consider the purchase price for the device itself, for the pots and the total energy costs, an induction cooker currently seems to be the most expensive solution. However, it must be mentioned here that cooking with induction hobs is becoming increasingly cheaper and that induction cookers take first place among electric cookers in terms of energy costs.

Electric cookers and ceramic technology are in the middle and differ only insignificantly. The gas stove is by far the cheapest. In total, it only costs about a third of what you have to spend on an induction cooker. In addition, modern gas stoves are now high-tech devices with electronic flame monitoring and touch control to control the burners. Safety aspects therefore now play a subordinate role when deciding on cooking gas. For many consumers, on the other hand, climate protection is playing an increasingly important role, and this is where gas technology has a good chance of being future-proof. Because with biogas and biomethane you can also cook climate-neutrally with gas.

Anyone who is faced with deciding which technology will accompany them in the kitchen over the next few years should therefore seriously consider using gas for cooking.

Related Links:

Information about cooking gas on the website of Erdgas Südwest.

supporting documents
(1) www.umweltbundesamt.de
(2) de.statista.com
(3) www.greenmind.besser-web.net
(4) www.energieverbrauch.de

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