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Consumer Perspectives of Gas and Electric Cooking: Evidence from Four National Surveys in Europe

This CLASP report examines European consumers’ preference and usage of gas and electric cooking appliances. It ascertains awareness of the health risks associated with gas cooking appliances, readiness to transition to electric alternatives, and opinions on potential government interventions.

Hannah Blair, Sara Demartini

Our latest surveys demonstrate that a substantial number of households in Europe would be ready to switch from gas to electric appliances if they knew about the health issues linked with gas cooking. CLASP’s research highlights the importance of raising awareness on the health impacts of cooking with gas and establishing an energy label for both gas and electric cooking appliances. By facilitating the transition to electric cooking, we can pave the way for healthier, safer, and more sustainable households. Nicole Kearney
CLASP Europe Director

While decades of scientific research have established a correlation between the emissions from gas cooking appliances and detrimental health impacts, the findings have not been widely circulated amongst the European public. As a result, misconceptions and misinformation about the safety, performance, and efficiency of electric alternatives remain widespread.

This report’s findings are drawn from surveys conducted among nationally representative samples of 3,000 adults in France, Romania, Spain, and 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom (UK). It offers European policymakers valuable insights into consumer perspectives on both gas and electric cooking appliances.

 

CLASP’s research questions address the following:

  • Consumer use of and reasons for gas versus electric cooking appliances.
  • Awareness of the health risks associated with gas cooking, and practices – such as ventilation – that can reduce risks.
  • The importance of energy efficiency in major appliance purchase decisions and the value of a comparative energy label for gas and electric cookers.
  • The level of support for government schemes to accelerate the transition to electric cooking.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Variations in preference and usage of gas and electric cooking appliances are evident across countries, but also among distinct demographic segments.
  • Cost emerges as a significant barrier for consumers, hindering the transition from gas to electric appliances. Renters wanting to switch to electric cooking appliances may face obstacles, despite their preference for such appliances.
  • Consumers perceive electric cooking as safer than gas cooking, yet many remain unaware of, or indifferent to, the health risks associated with gas cooking appliances.
  • Most respondents (58–74%) said they would consider getting rid of their gas cooker if they knew it was linked with health issues.
  • Less than 20% of respondents across all countries indicated using ventilation to mitigate indoor air pollution when cooking.
  • There is substantial public support for government initiatives aimed at promoting electric cooking in Europe.
  • Consumers express a strong interest in the energy efficiency of their cooking appliances; however, they lack the means to effectively compare different types of hobs. Consumers strongly support the implementation of an energy efficiency label for both hobs and ovens.

While this report provides valuable insights, further research is needed to understand the barriers and opportunities for electrifying cooking across Europe.

Translations of the report’s executive summary are available:

Individual survey reports:

Visit our Cook Cleaner Europe page to view additional resources on gas and electric cooking.

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