It depends on the model, age, etc, but usually electric costs more.
This is a very interesting question. On one hand you have an electric burner which takes longer to heat up, but can transfer more of it’s heat to the pan on top of it (up to 70%). On the flip side you have a gas burner, which heats up very fast and gives you more control over the heat, but transfer less to the pan (35-40%). An article on HowStuffWorks.com suggests that perhaps the most green option for a stove is one that heats by induction. These stoves magnetically accelerate the molecules in your pot to create heat faster and they can transfer up to 90% of the heat generated to the pot. However, these ranges do carry a hefty price tag.
If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, and shopping for a new stove, but feel the induction ranges are out of your price range. The article also suggests examining the way you cook, or even your cookware to green your cooking routine. For example, covering a pot while trying to boil water will reduce the energy consumption by about two fold. You also want pots and pans with a flat bottom that contact the burner evenly, and make sure to clean your drip pans. I recommend reading the article I will post in the citation for some more suggestions as well as some discussion on ovens and microwaves.
Back to the electric vs gas debate though, I’d say you should examine the source your electricity or natural gas comes from. If the electricity is generated through solar, hydroelectric or even nuclear power it might be more green than natural gas that gets piped a long distance. If your natural gas source is very local and electricity is generated through burning coal quite a distance away, you may want to choose gas.
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