Learning from the UK? Pt 2

  • The amount of energy households use for cooking has approximately halved over the last 40 years!

(Read this in the context of  this blog)

cooking in uk halved

This is surprising to me as I would have expected given all the cooking programmes on TV would have led to people doing fancier cooking – which I assumed would take more energy.   However…..

That doesn’t seem to be the case.  There are apparently three drivers for this.

One is about data management – part of this saving has really just been transferred to appliances energy, as small portable devices like sandwich toasters and bread machines – which are included as ‘Appliances’ elsewhere in the report rather than ‘Cooking’ – have replaced traditional ovens and hobs.

This is a good lesson for us as we try to implement cooking diaries – how do we handle the quick cup of tea from the kettle?

Secondly it is about more efficient cooking devices.  “microwaves and fan-assisted ovens have surely helped, and microwaves were found to save 10% of cooking energy.”  This is good news for us.  We are emphasising efficient devices, and while microwaves are not front and centre on our listings, the idea that efficiency can lead to overall savings is encouraging.

The Powering the Nation survey mentioned above found that 14% of household electricity is used for cooking – an average of 460kWh/year.  Average energy use for cooking was barely affected by the number of people in a household – so cooking energy per head is much higher in single person households.

UK cooking energy per person

Powering the Nation found that cookers with electric hobs, where present, used most cooking electricity (317 kWh/year), followed by ovens (without hobs) (290 kWh/year), hobs (226 kWh/year), electric kettles (167 kWh/year), and microwaves (56 kWh/year).

What is interesting about these figures, is that cooking, even in a sophisticated UK, the average cooking energy (and remember this is both gas and electricity) is of the order of 1.5kWh a day even for a household of 6 (but also for a household of one apparently!).

This is in the same ball park as the figures we are finding from our studies, although interestingly, we have found that electricity uses about a third of the energy that LPG does, and so if we adjust for this, and use energy efficient appliances, we can see that a 1.2kWh per day eCook system would suit.



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