There are several things about this advert that caught my interest.
The first is that as I saw him cooking, I realized he was not using any steps to improve the efficiency of the cooking process. We have currently been doing tests in Zambia and Myanmar with multicookers, and these have shown that for the same end product, they can use about a quarter or less of the energy (for some meals its about one tenth of a normal pan). They are to us becoming the LED lightbulb equivalent of cooking.
But of course they rely on changing the way you cook, and here we have Ainsley (a famous British chef in case you didn’t know), just cooking fabulous meals without worrying about his pots and pans. Indeed he uses a wok for frying. A wok has a large surface, large open area for evaporation, and creates a certain quick frying process. The swiftness of the process does indeed make for some energy saving. A longer cooking process with less power would possibly take similar energy consumption – high power quick cooking is actually quite efficient in terms of total energy.
However, what is very cool (and I mean that in the popular sense – his cooking is all very hot!), is that he cooks for so many! If the end shot of the meter is to be believed, he has used 7p of electricity and 3p of gas. In UK electricity is charged at about 14p per kWh (depending on exact tariff), so his 7p equates to 0.5kWh, while gas is charged at about 3.8p per kWh and therefore his 3p is about 0.8 kWh. So what I notice is that he is using (and remember this is not with energy efficient appliances but just ‘normal’ cooking) (including a blender!); he is using 1.3kWh for 14 people for a meal. That is about 0.1kWh per person per meal.
I know this is an advert for smart meters, and its all done tongue in cheek, but this is what many of our tests are showing. That there is considerable efficiency in cooking for many. It takes almost as much energy to boil and egg for one person as it does for 4 people. That when there are family meals, that a rule of thumb for modern energy (electricity or gas) of 0.1kWh per person per meal is more than reasonable.
And that’s without some conscious extra efficiency savings!