Which Is More Energy Efficient Electric Kettle Or Stove Top?

We get asked this question often, and on the face of it, it’s a tough one to answer, how do we quantify energy-efficiency? So we looked into it a bit closer, and we were surprised by the results. We hope you are too.

How Do Electric Kettles Work?

First, let’s look at the way electric kettles heat water. Either inside the kettle (at the bottom) or on the underside of the base of the kettle is a heating element. If it’s inside it will be a coil-shaped piece of metal, underneath it’ll be a metal plate. Either way, electricity is passed through this heating element, the resistance of the metal creates heat which in turn heats the water.

Modern electric kettles are insulated to prevent heat loss through the sides and the top so they are more efficient now than older electric kettles used to be.

Popular Electric Kettles

SaleBestseller No. 1
Russell Hobbs Brushed Stainless Steel Electric 1.7L Cordless Kettle…
  • The brushed stainless steel kettle heats up quickly is easy to clean and will not discolour regardless of use or age
  • Quiet boil technology makes this a hot favourite for people in open plan living spaces busy households and those who value peace and quiet With their brew
  • A rapid boil zone indicator within the kettle allows you to fill just the right amount of water and boils one cup super-fast taking only 45 seconds
Bestseller No. 2
Morphy Richards Equip Red Jug Kettle – 1.7L – Rapid Boil – Limescale…
  • Illuminated Easy View water gauge for dark mornings
  • 3kW element and Rapid Boil Feature for faster brews
  • Built-in cord tidy keeps countertops free of clutter
SaleBestseller No. 3
Geepas Electric Kettle, 1500W | Stainless Steel Cordless Kettle | Boil…
  • DURABLE AND HEALTHY STAINLESS-STEEL KETTLE – Food grade stainless steel is corrosion resistant and more durable and makes a healthy kitchen appliance to heat up water, and it is also very easy to…
  • CAPACITY 1.8L,SAFETY – The 1.8L large capacity allows this kettle to serve about 8 cups of water for you and your family each time. The boil-dry protection automatically switches off the heating…
  • AUTO LID OPENING, LIGHT INDICATOR – Designed with a simple one touch, push button opening lid, enabling you to quickly open with one hand when you want to refill your kettle and features an indicator…

How Do Stove Top Kettles Work?

Stovetop kettles work on a similar principle, the base of the kettle is subjected to heat from the hob, this, in turn, heats the water inside the kettle. The base of the kettle is still subject to a heat source that heats up and heats any water inside. 

Popular Stove Top Kettles

Bestseller No. 1
SUSTEAS Stove Top Whistling Tea Kettle-Surgical Stainless Steel…
  • ♨ COOL HANDLE | PUSH BOTTON MECHANISM – Ergonomically designed handle and push-button technology makes pouring a breeze! The combination of high-quality nylon material and stainless steel…
  • ♨ PERFECT WHISTLING SOUND | LARGE CAPACITY – Make tea with this 3 Liter large kettle for your entire family (MAX BOILING CAPACITY: 2.6 Liter). The loud whistle allows that you can hear it from…
  • ♨ INNOVATIVE BOTTOM BOILS WATER FASTER – SUSTEAS tea kettle is made of 5 layers encapsulated base, which improves heating performance while reducing heat loss, greatly shortening boiling time. It is…
Bestseller No. 2
Whistling Kettle, 3 L Stainless Steel Stove Top Kettle with Wood Grain…
  • Safety design: Heat-resistant handle, anti-scalding wood grain. After turning off the stove, it only takes a few seconds to cool the handle without oven gloves! Ergonomic shape & design handle…
  • Clear Whistle: This gas kettle has a fixed whistle, stay-cool handle, and stainless steel ring around the spout. Loud automatic whistling can catch your attention even in a noisy environment. When the…
  • Compatible Hobs: Suitable for gas stove, induction hob, electric stove, ceramic and halogen stove. It can be used to boil tea, coffee or even hot chocolate water and make a cup of hot milk; It is…
Bestseller No. 3
Stovetop Kettle Whistling Kettle,3L Stove Induction Kettle, Stovetop…
  • 【304 Food Grade Stainless Steel kettle 】Professional finish and 304 stainless steel 5 layers encapsulated basemake, stovetop kettle whistling can heats quickly, rustproof and corrosion…
  • 【 The Bottom Heats Up Quickly On Kettles】The bottom of the kettle is equipped with stainless steel and a heat-conducting aluminum layer in order to heat evenly and to maximize heat conduction. Our…
  • 【Perfect Whistling Sound】 The stylish tea kettle will release a loud whistle when the water has reached a boiling point. When you focus on your housework, movies, music, or anything else, the…

How Long Does Water Take To Boil Stove Top Vs Electric Kettle?

Before revealing the figures for this we need to point out that there are different types of stoves, powered by different means. There are gas stoves, electric stoves and induction stoves. So how long does it take to boil water using the different types of heat source?

Type of heat sourceTime taken to boil 1 litre of water
Electric kettle3 minutes
Induction stove5 minutes
Gas stove7 minutes
Propane (camping) stove8 minutes
Electric stove10 minutes

As you can see it’s faster to boil water in an electric kettle, but speed isn’t the only factor at play here. We’re looking at energy-efficiency not speed, so we have some more digging to do.

How Much Does Power Cost Per Unit?

Energy prices in the UK are based on kilowatts per hour, this is the industry standard nationwide for both electricity and gas. 

  • The average price in the UK for 1 kw/h of electricity is 14.37 pence.
  • The average price in the UK for 1 kw/h of gas is 3.80 pence.

It’s looking good for gas right now, but we need to factor in a few other variables to get to the bottom of this.

What Is The Average Energy Consumption Of A Hob?

It’s good to know how long it takes to boil 1 litre of water, and how much power costs, but we need to know how much power appliances consume to find out which is the most energy-efficient.

 The average gas hob has the equivalent power of 1.7 kW which would give a total cost of 6.46 pence per hour, which would cost around 0.073 pence to boil 1 litre of water – less than one penny. 

The average electric hob has a power of 1kw/h which would cost 0.073 pence to boil the same amount of water -around the same as gas.

An induction hob is rated at 7.2 kw/h which would cost around 1 penny to boil 1 litre of water.

How Much Energy Does An Electric Kettle Consume


The average rate of an electric kettle is 2400 watts or 2.4 kw/h so it would cost around 2 pence to boil 1 litre of water in an electric kettle. So let’s look at the average price to boil 1 litre of water using all 4 methods and get the total costings. 

Method usedCost in pence to boil 1 litre of water
Gas hob 0.073  pence
Electric hob0.073 pence
Induction hob1 penny
Electric kettle2 pence

If we exclude the induction hob because they are a pretty rare item in kitchens as yet (it’s a relatively new technology, it’s expensive to buy an induction hob and you need specialised pots etc.) we’re left with gas and electric stovetops and an electric kettle. In this case, the stovetop worked out cheaper. 

So now we have 2 results but energy-efficiency is not just about cost and speed. Looking at electric kettles they have to be the most energy-efficient because there is no energy loss at all. The heat is transferred from the heating element directly to the water with no electricity loss. Whereas a kettle on a stove be it electric or gas will lose heat into the kitchen and up the outsides of the kettle.  Let’s sum this up now.

Appliance Percentage of energy-efficiency
Gas hob with a kettle70% efficiency
Electric hob with a kettle70% efficiency
Electric kettle80% efficiency
Induction stove with a kettle85% efficiency

So if the choice is between a conventional stove and an electric kettle, the electric kettle is the most energy-efficient. But overall an induction hob is the most energy-efficient way to boil water.

The fastest way to boil 1 litre of water is with an electric kettle, gas and electric hobs consume the least power to boil 1 litre of water, but the most energy-efficient form of water boiling overall is an induction stove followed by an electric kettle with both gas and electric hobs coming in last.

Environmental Impact

Natural gas is a much cleaner source of power than electricity.  In fact, many modern electricity plants burn natural gas to generate electricity. Other ways of generating electricity all have an environmental impact, these include:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions
    Some forms of electricity are created by burning fossil fuels like coal or gas, the burning process creates greenhouse gases.
  • Water redirection
    Water is used in the production of electricity either as a coolant or as steam to power turbines.
  • Pollution discharged into water supplies
    This can be actual chemical pollutants or thermal pollution which is discharging water much hotter than the original temperature of the water in the water source.
  • Solid waste production
    This can often be hazardous waste including but not exclusive to nuclear waste.
  • Land use and degradation
    This can be power production sites, distribution lines, transmission lines, waste sites, fuel production, and hydro dams.
  • Damage to ecosystems
    This can be due to water, air, waste and land pollutants, structural damage to land, forests etc.

These effects can also affect any people living nearby to these pollutants etc.

Renewable energy can cause just as many if not more serious environmental problems. For instance, the batteries needed to store power for electric cars, are made from a relatively rare metal that has been found on ocean beds. This can lead to environmental issues on the seabed and beyond. Wind farms destroy natural beauty spots etc.

Advice When Buying

If after reading this article you’ve come to the conclusion that you’d like to buy a stove top kettle, check out our buyers guide here. Alternatively, if you’ve decided to go for an electric kettle, read through our guide on energy saving electric kettles here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it cheaper to boil water in a kettle or on the hob?

It is cheaper to boil water on the hob, but it takes longer and is less energy-efficient.

Is a stovetop kettle better than electric?

A stovetop kettle is better than an electric kettle for cost, but an electric kettle is slightly more energy-efficient.

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