Some folks believe a microwave oven is the most efficient way to heat water for a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. They're wrong, at least according to a researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He measured the energy used by an average microwave oven, an electric stovetop, and a gas stovetop. Turns out the electric stove used 25% less electricity than the microwave oven. The gas stove was even less efficient, using more energy than a microwave. But if the price of gas is low enough, it could cost less to heat water with gas than by microwave.
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