Is induction expensive to operate in California?

lisa02May 8, 2012

Our electricity is quite expensive here (Berkeley - PG&E) and I have been doing my research and love the idea of induction for safety, cleaning, speed, etc. However, I am curious about how it compares re: utility bill wise? Is it so efficient (ie -only heating the food and pot and not the air around) that it's better than gas or at least not too much worse than gas? Or is it much more expensive to operate?

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More expensive than gas, at least if you are in the upper tiers (tears) of the electricity rates.

Not even on the radar as a percentage of my PG&E bill. How many hours a day, and how many hobs, would you use the cook top? Simmer will be about 500 watts. Maybe about 0.6kW-hr to cook a pot of pasta, half that to pressure cook some rice. So cooking the pasta (at $0.34/kWhr) costs about 20 cents on induction, and maybe 8-9 cents on gas. Ballpark.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:38PM
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Seems like baking in an oven, especially for longer periods of time, would run up the electric costs more than induction hobs being used on the cooktop, for most stuff.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Electricity or gas for cooking is less than 6% of most home's total energy used. The big culprits are HVAC, lighting, hot water production, clothes drying, home electronics like TV's and computers, and appliances other than cooking.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 12:04AM
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The thing to remember is that in induction the majority, as in 80-90% of the energy is consumed by actually heating the vessel with the food. So while per unit cost may be higher than gas, you are also not wasting energy in heating up the air etc. So if you are looking at how many k/cals to heat 250ml of water, induction will be lower.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 1:46AM
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We have Induction, Orange County Calif.
Like livewireoak said, The induction is less than 6% of the electrical energy used.

Some folks here have as much as 75 Watt lights in their cans and they might have 8 to 10 of those,(10 would be 750 watts) and they are turned on a lot longer than the induction.

My goal is to keep our electric bill at $50 or less.
Lately it has been over $60, we had 8, 35 watt halogen lights in 8 cans, I just converted to 8 watt LED,s that put out the same light as 40 watt incandescents and they are much brighter than the old 35 watt Halogens.We always kept the halogens dimmed, but assuming we didn't the old halogens would have used 280 watts, the new Led's 64 watts, so that's saving over 200 watts (the power of 2 BIG lights).

So no worries about the induction, plenty of other ways to cut power usage!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:56AM
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Thanks everyone for the great info. My DH had been wondering about the impact on the PG&E bill- glad to know it's not worth worrying about!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:43AM
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Fori is not pleased

I'm just a little south of you and no, it won't affect your bill noticeably. Not like swapping out lightbulbs or turning off your vampire appliances completely.

You'll run the hood less than with gas, saving electricity there (stuff boils faster). You'll use the AC less (not that you use it much anyway). Okay, I'm stretching. But it really isn't that bad.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 2:04PM
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With nothing but logic to go on, it seems reasonable that the efficency should compensate if there is higher electrical usage. However, one small point: I lived in the bay area for 60 years and the east coast for seven; and assuming the 6% figure is a national average, then the cooking energy percentage in oakland would be much higher than 6%. We never even had air conditioning; and space heating would have been very low too if our house had been insulated. The comparitively high cost of space cooling and heating back east dwarfs cooking costs.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 2:46PM
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500w would be high for simmer, depending on your definition of simmer. I simmer (low bubbles) sauces/soups using %5-%10 of my 1800w hob. That's 90-180 watts. But I keep a lid on it.

I fry bacon using %40 or around 700w.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 2:49PM
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One issue to remember: during power outages, your cooktop can't be used. I mention this because I live in the Oakland hills, between the 580/13 split, and we have very few power interruptions (we're near several critical-emergency stations).

In contrast, my sister lives in Albany, a few blocks off San Pablo/Marin Aves. She says she has power interruptions at least once a month, often times more.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 4:03PM
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