Where to save energy: cooking

Reducing our energy use is good for the climate, and it’s also good for household budgets – a double win of lower bills and lower carbon. We recently looked at the appliances that use the most energy around the home. Let’s zoom in on something specific this time: cooking.

How we cook makes a big difference to energy use. Not everyone knows that, and a recent survey found that 52% of people don’t know which forms of cooking use more energy – and therefore cost more. According to the research, which was carried out by Iceland and Utilita, households could save as much as £600 a year just by cooking the same foods in more efficient ways.

So what are the cheapest ways to cook? Here’s the order from most to least expensive:

ApplianceDayWeekMonthYear
Electric cooker87p£6.09£26.38£316.54
Dual cooker72p£5.08£22£264.03
Gas cooker33p£2.32£10.07£120.83
Slow cooker16p£1.15£4.98£59.76
Air fryer14p£1.01£4.40£52.74
Microwave8p58p£2.50£30.02

Obviously not every recipe can be switched to a different appliance, but many things can and the savings will add up. It’s not uncommon for packaging to list three or four different ways to cook something. Custard in the microwave or on the hob? Fish fingers in the oven or in a pan? Jacket potatoes in the oven or in a slow cooker?

There are significant differences here. Look at the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive. Cooking in the microwave instead of the oven is a 90% saving.

With the information about the savings to hand, perhaps we can all make better choices and save ourselves some money this winter.

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Published by Jeremy Williams

Jeremy is an author and activist based in Luton. He writes serious books for adults, less serious books for children. His blog, The Earthbound Report, has been recognised as the best green blog in the UK by Vuelio and the UK Blog Awards.

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