Burning gas directly doesn’t seem green at all but in the case of “which is a greener?” a gas stove will almost always create less emissions than an electric stove.
The problem is that coal first needs to be burned to create heat that is then turned in electricity. This is generally done at around 30-60% efficiency so there is a lot of waste involved.
This is then converted back into heat on your stove, wasting energy again.
Which Is Greener, Gas or Electric Stove?
Comparing gas and electric side by side shows that gas produces 3.4 times less CO2 when compared to electric stoves.
Natural gas emits 117 lbs of CO2 to make 1 million BTUs of heat
Electric stoves emits 401.5 lbs of CO2 to make 1 million BTUs of heat
Thanks to TreeHugger for this info
Interestingly gas stoves are less efficient than electric stoves at the point of use. Only about 60% of a flame’s energy is heat.
It is estimated that regular electric coil stoves have about a 74-77% efficiency. Newer induction stoves are estimated to have about an 80-81% efficiency but this is debatable.
Regardless of this the loss in efficiency over the full scale of the electric cycle (from power plant to your house to your cooktop) means that electric stoves produce more greenhouse gas emissions than gas stoves.
The Exception To The Rule
The above result is based on the fact that your electricity is being generated by coal burning power stations.
If however you electricity is generated using emission free sources (eg. Solar, wind etc) then the opposite is true.
If your energy comes from clean renewable sources of electricity then an electric stove is going to win out 100% of the time.
It also has the added benefits of not emitting harmful chemicals into your house as you cook your food or boil your water. So it’s better for the environment as for your body and family.