Induction Operating Costs

texaskitchentooJuly 1, 2012

I haven't been posting here for awhile. But I thought I'd post on our experience after using induction for 2 years now. Mainly on its affect on our utility bills. We installed a 30" E-Lux icon induction cooktop back in Apr 2010. We bought it for $999 used after someone returned it thinking they were buying a radiant cooktop. It has been problem free and we love the cooktop. We gave up a gas cooktop for the induction and never looked back.

Tonight I was cleaning out some old bills and I took the opportunity to do an informal study of the cost impacts on our Gas and Electricity bills. This is by no means scientific, but I was able to get at least 12 months of data before and after the cooktop was installed. There are many things that affect our electricity usage, especaially here in southern Texas. So here is what I found...

Gas: Our house uses gas to heat water and as central heat in the winter. It also ran the old gas cooktop.

16 months of data before the induction was installed we averaged 42.6 CCF/mo (x 100 cubic feet of gas). 15 months of data after the induction was installed our average usage was 30.3. That is a ~28% reduction in gas usage. Now gas is pretty cheap so that is not a huge dollar savings, but it is something. Our billing rate is higher the more gas over a certain threshold is used, so it lowers the amount of expensive gas we use. Sure there are other things that can impact gas usage (winter temp, hot water usage) but averaged over 15 months reduces that. Bottom line, and logically, removing one of three gas applicances saves gas (duh) but I didn't think we used almost 1/3 of our total gas to cook. We are not great cooks and are probably below average cooktop users on this forum.

Electricity: Our house uses electricity for A/C, lighting, oven, etc.. the standard things. Probably the largest user is the A/C and that varies by outside temperature.

In the 12 months before induction we used on average 1,112 kw-hr/mo. In the 15 months after induction we used 1,124 kw-hr. Pretty much a wash. I was kind of surprised. Our cooking habits have not changed. But all the things about induction, faster heating, efficiency, lower radient heat to remove from the kitchen, are all true. Of course there are a lot more things that impact our electricty usage. About the same time I installed the induction I also installed low voltage under cab lighting and we hardly ever use the cans in the ceiling anymore. During this time I also installed some dimmers on other lighting. But at the same time the summer seemed a little hotter down here.

Anyway... like I said this is not scientific so take this as what it is. But if you are worried that induction will jack up your electricity, don't. It might save you a bit on gas though if you are swithcing from gas.

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That's pretty interesting. Your electric usage increased 12 kWh per month or just under 400 watts per day. That's, what, less than a dime per day? Impressive.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 6:44AM
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Texas had a terrible heat wave last year. Could more A/C usage be why you see little difference in kwh used?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Well you can go to Weather Underground and get historical data.

From Apr 2009 to Apr 2010:
Max Temperature...............102F...76F....33F
Mean Temperature...............93F...69F....30F
Min Temperature................84F...61F....21F

Degree Days.........................................Sum
Heating Degree Days (base 65)..36.....5......0......1688
Cooling Degree Days (base 65)..28.....8......0......2948

From Apr 2010 to Apr 2011:
Max Temperature...................98F....79F....33F
Mean Temperature..................89F....71F....29F
Min Temperature...................82F....62F....23F

Degree Days...............................................Sum
Heating Degree Days (base 65).....36......3......0....1270
Cooling Degree Days (base 65).....24......9......0....3345

I think the key data here is 'Cooling Degree Days' which is ~11% higher (3,345 vs 2,948) in 2010 to 2011, or the same time as the induction was operating. So this implies the A/C would have been running more in this year than the year prior to induction. So that makes the small difference after induction even smaller.

Again that is not the only variable, but the fact that it is hard to see any difference at all before and after induction means to me that the operating costs of induction should not be a factor at all for those considering induction.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:23PM
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I'm not surprised that the cost of induction cooking would be low. But I am very surprised that the cost of gas cooking was so high. I assume you are heating your home with gas, and you have mild winters? We lived in Massachusetts until last summer, and the cost of heating with gas dwarfed every other use.

We're in New Mexico now, and we have installed high efficiency gas furnaces so our heating costs have dropped considerably. I'd still be surprised if cooking were a big fraction of of the gas bill, but I don't have the data to back this up.

We just switched to induction about 3 weeks ago, but cost of utilities was not a factor.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:43PM
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Our winters in Houston are pretty mild but it does get into the 30's and we have a handful of freezing nights. But nothing like the NE. In the summer the only use for gas is hot water and cooking. Now of course just hot water. The gas cooktop we replaced was a run-of-the-mill builders cooktop. No high BTU burners. But to get water boiling you are putting out a lot of heat and I can recall you could not grab handles without a mitt. Now with induction the handles rarely need the use of a mitt. Much more efficient.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:55PM
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there is a possibility that using the induction top reduced your AC load by nearly the same amount as the induction usage amount. Hence the wash.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 1:58PM
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