Electricity Saving Tips For Homes And Offices

Cooktop Comparison: Gas, Electric and Induction

By on July 28, 2015

Hindi Translation: कुक टॉप तुलना: गैस, बिजली और इंडक्शन

Recently while interacting with a Bijli Bachao reader, we came across a question: which cooktop should I buy Gas or Induction? And this made us realize: Hey! We didn’t think about it! Cooking typically is a small component of the whole energy requirement in a house (especially in most middle and upper class urban homes), which some people typically ignore. Although rising LPG/PNG costs does cause a furore but rarely do we compare it with other form of energy: electricity. But with increasing popularity of Induction cook-top one has to really compare how different types of cook-top stack up against each other. Truly speaking, we did not find glaring benefit of one over other, so we just present facts in this article.

Gas Burner

Types of cooktops available in market

There are 3 types of cook-tops available in market: Gas, Electric and Induction. This is how they are different:

  1. Gas: This type of cooktop has a burner on top and uses gas (LPG or PNG) to burn a flame that is used to cook food.

  2. Electric: This type of cook-top has a coil that heats up due to resistance when current passes through it. As its name, it uses electricity to generate heat and cook food.

  3. Induction: Although this type of cook-top uses electricity but it uses magnetic property of steel to directly heat the cooking vessel. Unlike other cooking methods it does not use flames or red-hot element to cook. Thus it is considered more energy efficient. Also it only heats the vessel in contact thus reduces possibility of injury.

Efficiencies of various cooktops

US Department of energy did some boiling water tests to come up with efficiency of various cook-tops (Source: US DOE) and below was the results of the same:








The efficiency mentioned above is based on the heat transferred to the pan kept on top of it. Please note that the efficiency also depends on the size of pan used compared to the size of flame/heating surface. The numbers above are based on ideal setup.

Comparing costs of sources

Looking at the numbers above one cannot decide which is better economically as one has to also factor in the costs of various sources. So we decided to compare apples to apples. There are 3 types of sources that we commonly get: LPG Cylinders, Piped Natural Gas and Electricity. Now how do these 3 compare:

Let’s take an example that we want to boil 10 ltrs of water (at 25 degrees). So the energy required for the same is:

10000 x 4.2 x 75 = 3150000 Joules.

Now this is how various sources compare:

LPG Stove

PNG Stove

Induction Cooktop

Electric Coil Cooktop

Unit Definition

1 Cylinder (14.2 kgs LPG)


1 kWH

1 kWH

Energy (in Joules) per unit





Energy (in Joules) per unit factoring efficiency





Units Required to heat 10 lts of water.





Cost per Unit (in Rs)

Rs 423 (Subsidized),

Rs 900 (Un-Subsidized)

Rs 23

Rs 5

Rs 5

Cost of heating 10 lts water (in Rs)

Rs 5.09 (Subsidized),

Rs 10.8 (Un-Subsidized)

Rs 4.33

Rs 5.21

Rs 5.91

The above table shows that though efficiency of an induction cook-top is double than that of a gas cook stove, the cost of using it may not be proportional. The final values may vary based on the cost of various sources available to you as price of LPG, PNG or electricity may differ.

Assumptions and Inputs for the data above:

  1. Joules per unit of LPG is taken from Wikipedia source: link.
  2. Joules per unit of PNG is taken from Wikipedia source: link.
  3. Joules per unit of electricity is taken from Wikipedia source: link.
  4. Rate of LPG cylinder is assumed to be the rate of a subsidized LPG cylinder available in Mumbai. It can vary for different cities.
  5. Rate of PNG per unit is taken at average rate of PNG unit in Mumbai. Please note PNG tariffs are slab based. If your consumption is more, rate will be higher.
  6. Electricity rate per unit is approximate average last slab rate across the country. You can check your average rate per unit using our calculator: Online Electricity Bill Calculator – For all states in India.
  7. The efficiencies may vary a little based on the usage.

Pros and Cons of various cook-tops

For Gas Stoves:

  • Pros:
  1. Gas stoves provide better cooking control. One does not have to worry too much about position and size of the utensil kept on it. Though it can impact efficiency.
  2. One does not have to depend on power cuts for cooking.
  3. Good for cooking most Indian food like chapatti, etc.
  4. No specific requirement for utensil type.
  • Cons:
  1. Inflammable and thus dangerous. Can cause burns.
  2. Heats up the surroundings as well. Can increase the cooling bills if the environment is air conditioned.
  3. Ceiling Fans cannot be used along with it.
  4. Flames do produce CO2.

For Electric Coil Cook-tops:

  • Pros:
  1. Not inflammable thus creates a little safer environment.
  2. More energy efficient than gas stoves and can be economical than gas stoves if gas is not available at subsidized rates.
  3. Not as good as a gas stove for cooking food like chapatti but still can be used.
  4. Releases less heat to the surrounding and ceiling fans can be used along with it.
  • Cons:
  1. Can cause burns when touched.
  2. Takes time to heat up.
  3. Can only be used with flat surface utensils.
  4. Inadequate power supply can stop cooking.


For Induction Cook-tops: 

  • Pros:
  1. Induction cook-tops heat faster and distribute heat more evenly.
  2. They are completely safe as they heat only when a steel or iron element comes in contact.
  3. They are easier to clean.
  4. Efficient in terms of energy use.
  5. Come with programmable temperature controls.
  6. No heat wasted as it cools quickly as one shuts it down.
  • Cons:
  1. Can only be used with steel or iron utensils. Thus the kitchen has to be adjusted accordingly.
  2. They are generally expensive than regular cook-tops.
  3. Can be used only with flat surface utensils.
  4. Inadequate power supply can stop cooking.
  5. Will not work at all for some Indian food like chapatti.
  6. Some people observe that the heating is localized and mostly happens at the center of the utensil. This makes it important to put the right sized utensil on a induction cook-top and over sized ones should not be used.

Primary and Secondary Sources of Energy

On a side note we would also like to add that Gas is a primary source of energy i.e. it is directly used in the form it is available from environment. Whereas Electricity is a secondary source of energy i.e. either coal or gas is used to generate electricity. There are transmission losses and generation losses of energy with electricity. So by the time electricity reaches your home, a lot of energy is already lost. So if we factor these losses along with efficiency, both sources work out the same and it is a personal preference or economic value that should drive the decision.





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33 Comments on "Cooktop Comparison: Gas, Electric and Induction"

If you have any question or comment, please leave a message here. We try to reply to questions in the sequence they come in. We work from Monday-Friday 10AM-7PM. If we know the answer we try to reply to the question within 3 days.

April 3, 2015

Give example computation of induction cooker per hour? And computation of electric stove per hour.. plss

mayank patel
March 1, 2015

which gas stove brand is best in terms of safety?Gas safe is best one .pl. reply

January 30, 2015

The paper “Induction Cooking Technology Design and Assessment” presented at the 2014 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
shows that actual induction cooking efficiency is 75% – 77%, so lower than the 84% used up to now as reference value.

In December 2014 a new test procedure for cooking products was proposed by DoE to allow efficiency comparison among induction, electric resistance, and gas cooking tops and ranges. A hybrid test block is suggested, made of aluminum and ferromagnetic steel, suitable for tests on induction cookers too (the old aluminum-only block could not be heated by induction). The proposed rule lists results of real lab tests with the hybrid block. For comparable (large) cooking elements the following efficiencies were measured with ±0.5% accuracy: 70.7% – 73.6% for induction, 71.9% for electric coil, 43.9% for gas.
Here again induction efficiencies (measured by DoE) are quite lower than 84%.

November 21, 2014

Hi, I stay in a hostel, and would like to do some small cooking like frying etc. in my room. Which do you think is the best option among electric rice cooker or induction for me? Obviously, I cannot use LPG.

September 30, 2014

Many thanks for noble work. I wish to buy lpg cook top/burner/stove. Which is most efficient? As I heard that ceramic burners are most efficient but could not find in market.

Sharad deshmukh
October 1, 2014

Thank Abhishek for the reply,
We Indians are not a scientific minded society. LPG consumption takes place in millions of home and still we are not aware about the efficiency of the LPG cook top. I feel it is a neglected subjects from the experts and we are being exploited by the crooks under the influence of fancy advertisements. If we use the efficient gadgets the energy saved will be hugh and dependance on other country can be reduced up to certain extent. I feel there must be a law where every energy consuming appliance should clearly mark the efficiency and other related information.
I could not find any ceramic burner in the market though they are more efficient.

Thanks again.

August 13, 2014

I heard there is induction stove added up with a music system to it… I just wanted to know about it…I mean the company which dealing with it. And deals more clearly. …. please do the needful at earliest

June 12, 2014

Nice article..
According to me, In country like India the electricity is not reliable option. So for food we cannot depend on that. However, we have option like Gas stove burner. As limitation on fuel, Gas also has to be conserved. Its savings must be our motto.
I have 2 queries :
1. As per manufacturing end they are claiming 68% efficiency for Gas Stove burner.(http://indane.co.in/stove.php) Why 40% considered??
2. What are the loss in this heating process?? so that we can resolve that increase efficiency.Like one can use Cu bottom utensils to capture more heat they are more popular in these days…likewise any solution we can found

June 14, 2014

Absolutely right…
Do you have more article/research on this topic?? (Reduce loss or improve efficiency of Gas stove burner).

Arend Wolbers
June 4, 2014

Thank you for recalculating the expense for heating 10 lts water, so its still cheaper to use gas.

Arend Wolbers
June 2, 2014

Gould you please recalculate with calorific value of the gas 35,17 MJ for me

Arend Wolbers
May 31, 2014

At the end you give a story about “Primary and Secondary Sources of Energy” Ok, but without that and the cost price of the induction cooker or gas cooker, if you just count the energy used by cooking 10 lts of water and compare gas to induction use by a electricity price of ? 0,0767 Kwh and a Gas price of ? 0,3418 Cubic meter what kind of money thus it cost to use gas or induction, or witch is cheaper gas or induction.
I try to reduce my gas and electricity bill and will buy a induction cooker + cookery ware, the money I spend on a induction cooker + cookery ware is not important for me, but the gas or electricity use is.