Do an Electric Stove Use a Lot of Electricity? [Facts & Data]
If you are thinking about how many watts an electric stove use, you may be surprised to find out that the electric stove power consumption is one of the highest in your household. The energy usage of an electric stove is so high because this is a heating body, and any form of heat generation takes a great deal of electricity. Let’s head on and learn more about how much electricity you could save by opting for an energy-efficient stove.
Electric Stove Power Consumption
An electric stove works by letting electricity pass through the cooktop. In passing through, electricity is met with a specific resistance. This is where the heat is generated. Imagine that the electricity is met with some kind of friction in the process – this friction is what creates heating, the same way that friction between your hand and your jacket creates a bit of heat on cold winter days.
To better understand the stove power consumption and how much electricity your electric stove uses, we need to introduce two terms: nominal power and effective power. Nominal power is the maximum power your stove can deliver. This is the power that is labeled on the device itself – in an electric stove, it is usually between 2 and 5 kW.
However, as you cook your meal, the cooktop does not always work at nominal power or at 100% of its power rating. This is because once the temperature of the cooktop is reached, the cooktop temporarily shuts down to avoid overheating both the internal coil and your pot. So, in reality, stoves and electric ovens draw less power than their rated power. This power is known as effective power.
To make things clearer, let’s consider you are cooking a meal for one hour on the second smallest burner or cooktop. The hotplate on your stove would not always consume as many watts as its rated power. You would have the highest power consumption during the first few minutes of using your electric cooktop – to bring water into the pot to boil. After this time, the cooktop would periodically shut down, but only once the temperature has been reached.
As you keep cooking and the heat is transferred from the coils to the pot, the coils cool down. The internal thermostat notices this and turns the coils back on. In our example, the electric cooker really only worked for about 45 minutes, or ¾ of the time it was in use. This means that:
Nominal Power = 2 kW
Effective Power = 2 kW X ¾ = 1.5 kW
This effective power means that the electric stove delivers about 1.5 kW of electric power at any given hour. Translated to actual energy use, or the amount of electricity, this translates to around 1.5 kWh of energy use. Multiply this number with the electricity rate in your state or with your power provider to see what the actual cost is.
How many watts your electric stove uses depends on the actual wattage of the hotplates. An average stove has about four hotplates or heating elements, while some may feature six or more. Each heating element is of a different size and has a different size of the heating coil inside. A small coil typically uses about 1.2 kW to 1.5 kW of power. The biggest one can consume up to 2.7 kW of power.
The only exception to this rule is the ‘express hotplate,’ as it uses most power when compared to its size. This hotplate is frequently used for fast boiling of small amounts of water, such as when making tea or mocha coffee. In total, an average electric stove can use ~5 kWh of energy when all burners are on. Going with an Energy-Star appliance can save money, and so can a gas stove.
As the numbers are pretty high, we usually display them in kW or kWh when it comes to energy consumption, especially when used on high heat. To calculate how much power an electric stove or oven uses, you should be able to calculate, at least roughly, the effective power output and then multiply it with the number of hours it was used. This time should include every use, even when reheating food that has been prepared beforehand.
As this power use can be pretty high, you should always consider purchasing an energy-efficient electric oven and stove. This way, you can save power whenever making meals. The average home cook spends more than an hour each day at the stove, so being able to save can have a noticeable income on your stove use and average electricity bill.
Calculate your Oven’s Energy Consumption
Understanding the exact usage and energy cost can be difficult, so we did a bit of calculation for you. In the following table, you will find energy use per year per power output. All the calculations are done with one hour of use on an average day.
|Electric Stoves Wattage
|Hours of Use per Day
|Total Energy Use
|Total Energy Cost
|730 kWh / year
|$100.156 / year
|912.5 kWh / year
|$125.195 / year
|1095 kWh / year
|$150.234 / year
|1277.5 kWh / year
|$175.273 / year
|1460 kWh / year
|$200.312 / year
|1642.5 kWh / year
|$225.351 / year
|1825 kWh / year
|$250.39 / year
Assumed Electric Rate: $0.1372/kWh
Factors That Affect the Oven’s Power Consumption
Of course, when running your electric stove or oven, you should consider more than the simple time of use. The wattage of stoves plays an important role in how much electricity you will use. However, choosing less heating power usually ends up in longer cook times and equally as high electric bills. For that reason, here are the factors that affect the oven’s and the stove’s power consumption.
Type of Oven
The type of oven you choose has a big say in how much power will be used during the use. There are traditional, convectional, and IR – InfraRed ovens. Choosing the traditional oven means the highest power use. While choosing an IR oven means the lowest power use but also the highest price. Choosing gas ovens will cost the least in the long run, but the environmental impact has a big say here.
Traditional ovens use the most power but are also very fast to warm up and start cooking the food the fastest. This is the most common type of oven there is. You can easily recognize it by the heating coils that can be seen on the oven ceiling – usually in the form of a grill or a single round coil.
Convection ovens, on the other hand, have hidden heating elements. As the electricity passes through the coils, it warms them up, and a fan sends the hot air towards the food. These ovens use less electricity than traditional ones, but the biggest saver is that they enable cooking two separate meals at once – which is something that traditional ovens struggle with.
Infrared ovens, on the other hand, do not send heat directly to the food. Rather, strong infrared lamps bathe the food in infrared light. This type of light has strong penetrating power and can cook the food from inside out – making for a much tastier dish with lower energy use. These ovens cost more than a traditional oven or even convection oven, but they also save electricity and save money for you.
Duration of Usage
Duration of use has a big say in how much energy you will use. A good cook knows that most electric ovens are very powerful devices that draw a lot of power – stove use, therefore, is the biggest determiner of energy use. To save every kilowatt-hour you can, you should purchase a bigger convection oven, as cooking two meals at the same time uses less energy than cooking them separately.
Burner Size and Wattage
When it comes to your electric stove and how many watts they consume, you should know that the bigger the burner size, the higher its wattage. However, as every household needs four or more burners and still wants to use less energy, you should know that choosing a standard stove and being smart about how you use it can save more power than choosing a more expensive stove.
Types of Oven
There are several types of ovens and stoves on the market. Each of them is somewhat energy efficient, as every manufacturer wants to launch technology that saves money rather than wastes it. Here are the most common types of ovens on the market:
- Conventional Gas Ovens,
- Conventional Electric Ovens,
- Convection Ovens,
- Microwave Ovens,
- Toaster Oven, and
- Induction Cooktop.
Conventional Gas Ovens
Conventional gas ovens use the least amount of electricity of all. Furthermore, with the price of the gas (per kWh) lower than that of electricity, gas ovens are more energy-efficient and result in lower electric bills. You can expect around 30% savings each month.
Conventional Electric Ovens
Conventional electric ovens have easy-to-spot heating elements on the top side. The heating elements at the bottom are usually hidden by a layer of thin metal. They offer the benefits of better temperature regulation, faster start and shut down times, and more safety than their gas counterparts.
Convection ovens use less electricity than conventional stoves. As electric stove use increases, more people opt for convection ovens. They use a fan to dissipate heat evenly and can cook two meals at once with less heating power.
Microwave ovens are a special type of oven that uses less power than any other. They use microwaves for cooking or heating food. Although not the best solution for cooking, they are perfect for warming food up – with lower power consumption than an electric oven would use.
A toaster oven has heating elements on both sides of the flaps. A toaster oven is mostly used for toasting bread or entire sandwiches, leaving a recognizable grilled flavor and freshening up stale bread. A toaster oven is less efficient than a microwave but can only be used for limited purposes.
An induction cooktop saves the most energy when compared to other models. All energy in an induction cooktop is delivered straight to the medium that is being cooked with very little loss. This results in less electricity being used and significant savings, even when compared to a natural gas range.
Factors to Consider When Buying A Stove
When purchasing a stove, it is best to check out the models on the market yourself. As every family has different energy needs and different energy habits, simply following recommendations should not soffit. Here are factors to consider when buying a stove:
Oven and Burner Wattage
When purchasing a stove, you should check out the oven and burner wattage. Based on your energy needs, choosing burners of the biggest size and the highest wattage means not that you will be able to use all that power effectively. An electric stovetop should always have multiple sizes of burners that should be of the right size for your pots and pans.
Select an Oven Based on Your Needs
Selecting an oven based on your needs means knowing your needs at first. To understand your needs, ask yourself the following questions:
- How many family members do you have?
- How many times a week do you cook?
- What type of meals do you make? Simple, single-course meals or larger meals consisting of many courses?
Based on the answers to these questions, you should be able to choose the right oven and cooktop based on your needs. Choosing a convection-type oven will save time and energy by enabling you to cook two meals at the same time. Choosing an induction cooktop means lower electric use and a faster cooking time, but you may end up purchasing a new set of pans and pots, as not all models out there are compatible with induction technology.
Select a Self-cleaning Oven
If you cook often and are busy, there may be no time to properly clean your oven. This means that you should always choose an oven that is self-cleaning or easy to clean at least. This will save you precious time and could even make you cook more. Some modern ovens even come with a self-cleaning cycle that does all the work for you.
Use Gas Instead if Available
Using gas instead of electricity is a great way to save on your electric bill, similar to dryers. Electronic devices can use more electricity than gas-powered appliances, especially if they come with a pilot light. Beware that this light draws very small amounts of gas, but they still add up over time. Choosing a gas cooktop with electric ignition means very little electricity is used, but there will also be no nasty gasses and a pilot light to keep checking.
How to Conserve Power While Cooking?
As cooktops and ovens are demanding when it comes to energy use, you should know there are ways to save electricity when cooking. Energy reports usually say that a significant amount of energy used in cooking is wasted, so you should be aware of these energy-saving tips. This way, you can save more energy and money:
Cook Multiple Dishes in One Go
Cooking multiple dishes in one go may not seem like an obvious way to save money, but it will enable you to more efficiently use electromagnetic energy. This is especially true of ovens if they are higher models with multiple cooking levels. Purchasing a good steamer pot is also a good idea to consider, especially as you can cook an entire meal in it. Covering pots also saves energy, as no heat escapes with the steam.
Keep the Oven Door Shut
Keeping the oven door shut for the duration of cooking can save a lot of energy as well. Opening the oven door even for a few seconds to check on the cooking progress can cool down the oven by more than 20 degrees – making it work extra hard and use extra energy to bring the air back to the needed temperature. Instead, you should rely on the oven door – keeping it clean will prevent you from opening the door too often, as you will be able to see what’s going on inside.
Regularly Clean the Stove
Regularly cleaning the stove, especially a gas stove, can save a lot of money as well. In electric models, the heating elements can get covered in grease and burnt food residue, which reduces the efficiency of the elements themselves. Gas stoves, on the other hand, suffer from a similar issue, as the gas holes can get plugged, resulting in less power delivered to the inside of the oven. Keeping your stove and oven clean will ensure that food on each individual burner cooks evenly and that more power is being delivered to the pot itself.
Get a Head Start on Self-Cleaning
Self-cleaning cycles are a great and easy way to clean the oven. However, you can get a head start on the cleaning cycle and save more energy by regularly wiping down the top, the sides, and the bottom of your oven after each use. This will ensure you run the cleaning cycle less often and use less power.
Use Glass and Ceramic Bakeware
Using glass and ceramic bakeware can also save energy. This type of bakeware can save energy, especially as metal pans do not conduct heat as well as ceramic bakeware does. Furthermore, you can turn off the oven earlier, as the thicker glass or ceramic materials keep a lot of heat and can keep cooking for 10-15 minutes after the heating elements are turned off.
Do gas stoves last longer than electric?
In theory, yes, gas stoves last longer than an electric stove. This is because there are fewer parts and fewer chances of something breaking down in a gas oven. Besides the gas hookups, a gas stove has very few points that can break down. An electric cooktops range, on the other hand, requires complex wiring and heating elements that become worn out after many years of use.
Are electric stoves cheaper than gas?
Yes, electric stoves are cheaper than gas, though they use more energy. They are also easier to install, as all you need is a single wall outlet, and no gas hookup is needed to keep them running. They are easier to clean as well, as the surfaces are smooth and in IR (infrared), and induction cooktops are covered in tempered glass that is super easy to clean.
Why do people prefer electric stoves?
People prefer electric stoves for the following reasons:
• They are easier to install,
• They cost less than gas stoves,
• They are easier to move around, as they are much lighter than has counterparts,
• They are easy to install – simply plug them in and start using them.
Can you plug an electric stove into a regular outlet?
You can plug smaller electric stoves into a regular outlet. However, with bigger models, you should always choose to plug them into the 220-volt outlet instead in the US. In Europe, a three-phase, 380-volt connection is needed. Choosing a higher voltage power connection will also ensure your safety, as the thinner wires in the lower-voltage connection may overheat and cause a fire.
When purchasing a stove, you should know about the different types there are, as well as about the different ways to save with them – both in the short and the long run. With our handy guide, you will be able to understand electric stove use and ways to save, as well as have an overview of tips and tricks to pay attention to before making your purchase.