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Choosing Your Range: Gas, Electric, or Dual Fuel?

All appliances are not

created equal. That’s especially true when it comes to big ticket items like a gas

or electric range. There are several things you need to be aware of before

purchasing an energy efficient range top. The trick is deciding whether it

should be gas, electric, or dual fuel?

For people who do a lot of

range cooking, gas is by far the most enjoyable to cook with. A top of the line

gas range and oven will cost anywhere from $1,500 - $6,000. The more insulated

the range is, the more cost efficient it will be. Use a moderate flame to cook

and be sure to check the flame’s color. A blue flame is using gas efficiently

and a yellow flame indicates an adjustment needs to be made.

A modern electric range may

save you some dough on your electric bill. The best ones on the market use 1/3

less energy to run. Electric ranges also come with easy-to-clean glass or

ceramic tops. To make it more efficient,

keep the stove top reflectors clean. The reflectors generate heat, too. Keeping

them clean will make the burners more proficient. For long-term efficiency, be

sure to check the heating coils. If one is failing, this can be a huge power


The built-in cooktop range can

be gas or electric. The difference here is there’s no oven. It’s a range built

into the counter; installation

is similar to that of a kitchen sink but with gas or electric.

Cost of Cooking

Think about the long-term cost of using

a range/oven. Every appliance has two-costs, one to buy it and another to

operate it. According to the California Energy Commission, most Americans

prefer to cook with electricity. About

58% of Americans use electric over gas. But according to a Consumer Guide test

on the cost of cooking, it’s actually cheaper by .07 cents an hour to use gas

over electric. So understanding the future cost of the unit is important. This table from the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings

compares the cost of cooking a casserole in several ways. It assumes the cost

of gas is $.60 a therm, and electricity is $.08 a kWh.

Appliance Temperature Time Energy Cost
Electric Oven 350 1 hour 2.0 kWh $.16
Electric Convection Oven 325 45 minutes 1.39 kWh $.11
Gas Oven 350 1 hour .112 therm $.07
Electric Frying Pan 420 1 hour .9 kWh $.07
Toaster Oven 425 50 minutes .95 kWh $.08
Electric Crockpot 200 7 hour .7 kWh $.06
Microwave Oven “High” 15 minutes .36 kWh $.03












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