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How cooking method and practice affects energy consumption

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The life-cycle of cooking extends far beyond the kitchen.  Most stoves in the US run on gas or electricity, produced from coal, gas, nuclear, hydro or other renewables.

Each of these systems has built-in efficiencies that affect energy efficiency in the kitchen.

Conversion from coal to electric by conventional power plants is roughly 30% efficient and can as high as 40% when equipped with special devices. Natural gas plants can reach efficiencies up to 60%. .  By contrast, the typical gas stove in America is only 40% efficient whereas its electric counterpart is 80%.

The authors propose looking at overall system efficiency due to these inherent complexities.  Given these efficiencies, electric stoves powered with gas are the more efficient choice by approximately 20%.

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