How to boil water the most environment friendly way

Gas stove versus electric cordless kettle

Is gas the most environment friendly way to boil water?

Boiling water for a tea or coffee cup doesn’t require much energy, but it is a small daily energy consuming act that millions of people do up to several times a day. So, what is the greenest way to boil a couple of cups of water?

The most common way to boil water has been to use a stove, either gas or electric for a long time now. The electric cordless kettle has been popular in Europa for some time now, and it is starting to come more and more in the U.S. as well.

Electricity or gas?

We will look at electricity first since two of the options use electricity as the power source. The electric power can come from many types of sources, some are good for the environment and some are bad. If we look at the net energy source for USA in 2010 (see link below), coal (45%), nuclear (20%) and natural gas (22%) is the largest sources. A power station using coal has carbon footprint of roughly 500 g/kWh while natural gas has only 200 g/kWh.

From the numbers we can see that electricity has larger CO2 emissions per kWh. So, the obvious assumption would be that boiling water with a gas stove would be the greenest way, but it is not. Surprisingly, the electric cordless kettle has a lower carbon footprint when boiling water. You might ask why and the answer is that the electric kettle is much more efficient. The stove, both electric and gas, is not as efficient due to radiation and is not transporting the heat as good.

Convenient and fast

The electric kettle is also faster than the stove and a whole lot more convenient. You can turn on the electric kettle and not worry about over boiling or boiling dry since it will turn itself off when the water has come to a boil or the kettle for some reason is overheating. Be safe and green, get yourself an electric kettle!

If you are interested in an electric cordless water kettle have a look at our reviews.


>> U.S. Energy Information Administration