Are you renovating your kitchen and looking for a new oven? Maybe you’re just curious to see if electric ovens are more energy efficient than gas ovens?
I’ve recently moved house and have been asking myself the same questions.
You see I’ve gone from a house with an electric oven to a new home with a gas oven.
My main questions revolved around energy use and running costs – are gas ovens cheaper to run than electric ovens?
I’ve done the research and digging, so keep reading to learn all you need to know.
- Are gas or electric ovens cheaper to run?
- Running costs of gas vs electric oven
- Oven running cost over the long term
- Energy efficiency of gas vs electric oven
- Other more energy efficient cooking methods
- Are electric ovens better than gas?
- Pros and cons with a gas oven
- Pros and cons with an electric oven
- My thoughts on gas vs electric ovens
Are gas or electric ovens cheaper to run?
This isn’t a straightforward answer. A few factors have to be taken into account.
Generally speaking, gas ovens are cheaper to run than electric ovens.
But this might not be true in every instance. As you’ll see below, there might not be much in the overall costs either.
Gas ovens are usually cheaper to run because the cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) of gas is much cheaper than electricity.
Currently in the UK, I’m paying 34p per kWh for electricity and 10.3p per kWh for gas.
However, it does depend on how much energy your oven consumes. Different ovens will have different consumption rates.
Running costs of gas vs electric oven
Ok, I’ve done the maths on the two ovens I’ve used – my old electric one and new gas one.
And guess what?
The gas oven was cheaper to run but actually used my kilowatts of energy.
Let me explain.
I previously used a Rangemaster Toledo 90. This is an electric fan oven and used just 0.83kWh of electricity.
If I used this electric oven for an hour it would cost me 28p.
In my new house, there’s a New World build in gas oven. To my surprise this uses 2.5kWh of energy.
If I used this gas oven for an hour it would cost me 25p.
I think 2.5kWh is quite high when compared to other models. You can get gas ovens that use 1.3kWh to 1.75kWh of energy.
With an electric oven, the key may be using an electric fan oven. Standard single or double electric ovens with no fans use anywhere from 2kWh – 8kWh of power consumption.
This will cost you way more over the long term.
Oven running cost over the long term
Let’s multiple this up a bit to get a true cost over a long time period that’d be more reflective on your energy bill.
Taking my example above, let’s imagine I used the oven for 5 hours a week on average. I’ve calculated the electric oven (with no fan costs) at a conservative 2.5kWh energy consumption.
|Time||Gas Oven||Electric Fan Oven||Electric Oven (No Fan)|
Energy efficiency of gas vs electric oven
So, the reason gas ovens are considered more efficient than electric ovens is because the unit price of gas is over three times cheaper than electricity.
If the costs per unit of electricity comes down, then electric ovens would be more energy efficient. Especially electric fan ovens.
Will this happen? Who knows.
If we want to live in a more sustainable world, then renewable electricity will have to become more prominent.
Renewable electrical energy is much, much cleaner and greener than burning gas.
However, as gas can be burned as it is, it’s turning out cheaper. Electricity is currently more expensive as there’s more process involved in converting a source of energy, for example solar or wind, into electricity.
As always with efficiency, it helps to clean your oven regularly.
Other more energy efficient cooking methods
Of course, you won’t be cooking everything in the oven.
In some instances, it’s better to use the microwave.
It turns out that microwaves are more energy efficient than ovens in general. This is because they produce a very direct type of heat and aren’t on for as long.
Another substitute for the oven can be a very efficient slow cooker.
A slow cooker on a low setting for 8 hours will use just 0.2-0.3kW of electricity. For the 8 hours this will cost you about 9p. Very cost efficient!
If you’re thinking about running costs in your kitchen, it might be wise to invest in an energy efficient fridge freezer too as these can save £100s when compared to old models.
Are electric ovens better than gas?
In terms of which oven is better, we’re getting more subjective.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of ovens. I’ll give my view at the end!
Pros and cons with a gas oven
With a gas oven one advantage is that they are quick to heat up and cool down. This happens faster than an electric oven.
As we’ve seen above, gas ovens are also more cost efficient to run.
On the downside, gas ovens tend to lead to more uneven heating. This is because they don’t really have a built in fan to disruptive the heat – a bit like a stove top fan does.
They also have slightly higher installation costs as they are trickier to fit.
Unfortunately, using a gas oven also has several drawbacks to keep in mind.
Pros and cons with an electric oven
As opposed to directly burning a fuel for energy, electric ovens use a series of coils and tubes with an electric current.
These coils and tubes are designed to have high electric resistance, which allows them to convert the majority of the current passing through them into heat energy.
In general, electric ovens are probably easier to use and produce a very even heat (when using an electric fan oven). They take a little longer to reach top heat than gas ovens, which is a slight disadvantage.
Electric ovens don’t use open flames, which make them a safer choice in terms of potential accidents.
The only major downside to electric ovens is that they use a more expensive energy source!
My thoughts on gas vs electric ovens
From a personal use point of view, I actually prefer using an electric fan oven over a gas oven.
The opposite is true for the hob – I prefer to use a gas hob rather than electric induction.
With an electric oven, the heat is more even, they’re a little more predictable and I think you get a more consistent cook.
As we’ve seen, it will cost more on average to run an electric oven. However, if you compare a gas oven with an electric fan oven, there’s barely any cost difference in it.
From an energy efficiency point of view, electric ovens actually use less kilowatts of energy on the whole and it’s more likely to come from cleaner or renewable energy source.
As to whether electric ovens are better than gas ovens, this is a personal preference to you!
On the other hand, gas ovens are cheaper to run, heat up and cool down quicker, and can give you more moist food. All in all, they’re the way to go if you want to save on your energy bills. However, they can be a hassle to install and come with some safety concerns regarding leaks.
Now that you have all the information, it’s up to you to decide which appliance to go for based on your priorities!
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Ben is the Creator and Editor of Tiny Eco Home Life. I write and publish information about more sustainable, environmentally friendly living in and around the home.
Alongside this website, I love spending time in the natural world, living a simple life and spending time with my young family (Murphy the dog!) I round up my thoughts and recent blogs on the Eco Life Newsletter.