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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Local homes 'prefer gas stoves to electric ones'

Research shows 4 in 5 units sold are gas-fuelled, a largely greener option
The Straits Times - April 8, 2014
By: Feng Zengkun
| More
Local homes 'prefer gas stoves to electric ones' - ST FILE PHOTO

ABOUT four out of five Singapore homes prefer cooking on gas stoves rather than electric ones, a survey has found - which could be slightly better for the environment.

Of nearly 12,000 cookers sold between last July and this February, about four in five were gas-fuelled and the rest electric.

This is despite the latter often being easier to use and clean, according to market research firm GfK.

The company tracked sales at superstores and electrical chains here, though its survey did not include stoves from other sources, such as those that came with new condominiums. To put the 12,000 figure in context, there were about 1.17 million resident households here as of last year.

"Singaporeans are generally still traditional when it comes to cooking methods," said GfK Asia home and lifestyle account director Jasmine Lim.

"Between gas and electric stoves, gas tends to be more favoured as there is more instant and direct control of the heat to enable more uniform cooking."

Both types of stove in the survey were similar in price, with electric ones ranging between $172 and $4,550, and gas ones between $139 and $4,650.

The Singapore Environment Council (SEC) has a green labelling scheme that helps customers identify energy-efficient and environmentally friendly gas-powered cooking appliances.

"Gas stoves are generally more energy efficient than electric stoves," said its resident environmental engineer Kavickumar Muruganathan. "When you turn on a gas stove, you instantly get a flame, whereas electric stoves often take longer to heat and cool, thus, using more energy."

Some gas stoves are also more environmentally friendly than others.

"Those that use an electric ignition, as opposed to a continuously burning pilot light, use up to 40 per cent less gas," he said.

The SEC's green labelling scheme also includes other products such as bricks, hand dryers, soaps, cosmetics and car tyres.

Its efforts are part of a wider plan here to encourage customers to switch to more environmentally friendly household appliances.

As of last week, televisions sold here need to carry energy labels mandated by the National Environment Agency (NEA). These help customers compare models' annual energy use and cost.

The NEA introduced similar labels for air-conditioners and fridges in 2008. In 2011, it also banned the sale of versions of these products that do not meet minimum energy-efficiency standards.

The agency extended the ban to poorly performing clothes dryers last week and will also include lighting fixtures later this year.

It said that lighting accounts for about 10 per cent of electricity use in a typical four-room HDB flat - the third-largest share after air-conditioners and fridges.

The NEA estimated that households in Singapore could save between $12.2 million and $19.7 million in total annually by switching from low to medium or high-efficiency televisions.

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