Electric Ovens & Range Cookers
Electric ovens & Range Cookers.
So your are thinking of buying an AGA, Everhot or ESSE electric range cooker? or having your existing AGA converted to electric?
Things aren’t always what they seem, and many myths and false information abound on the internet and in adverts.
Other companies are selling electric cookers as a cheaper, cleaner alternative, but then quote running costs for just cooking. The whole point though, is to have a warm cosy cooker & heat the kitchen.
The other myths being peddled is that an electric cooker will use a lot less energy, this is illogical, yes an oil, gas, pellet or wood fired cooker has a flue and so is between 90-95% efficient with 5-10% of energy going up the chimney, but that is not a lot. Electricity is by far the most expensive fuel and the cost is rising, with heavily subsidised Nuclear plants being constructed. The chart below shows the cost allowing for the 90% efficiency.
Grid electricity is also surprisingly quite a dirty fuel compared even to oil. Please see chart figures taken from the Carbon Trust web site **** also allowing for the 90% efficiency. The electricity figures are from the latest .gov figures fro 2019 and allow for the huge expansion of wind turbines.
|Fuel||KgCO2/100 kWh||Cost per 1,000Kw|
|Grid Electricity||28Kg||£ 135.00|
|Heating Oil @ 90% efficiency||27Kg||£ 45.70|
|LPG@ 90% efficiency||21Kg||£ 80.00|
|Natural gas @ 90% efficiency||18 Kg||£ 44.00|
|Wood pellets @ 90% efficiency||1Kg||£ 50.00 **|
|Log Wood @ 85% efficiency||0Kg Nominal||£ 40.00 **|
** This is bagged price, cost can come down considerably if you buy in bulk and live near a production plant.
Is this really zero emissions? or carbon neutral?
Even if you have solar panels, unless you have a field full, they are not enough to run a large cooker, and sadly you need the heat and cooking on a winters night when the sun isn’t shining. So you will only lower your carbon output if you buy your electricity from a supplier that only uses renewable like ‘Bulb’, but then these are even more expensive at around £150.00 per 100 Kw-hr
Put simply, a Thornhill cooker is about 92% efficient, (yes I have allowed for this in the chart above) and so if you wanted the cooker on for heating as well as cooking, a Thornhill cooker would cost you about just £ 350-450 for gas oil or pellet. *** But a comparable electric range cooker would cost you £ 1,190.00 (nearly 3 times as much!) The pellet will be virtually carbon neutral, the oil cooker the worst will create just 270Kg of CO2, but the electric range running of the grid will produce 247Kg of CO2, The dash to electricity has caused the UK output of CO2 to rise when we need it to fall.
But don’t forget you will reduce your main heating costs by about 6500 Kw Hrs a year making your Thornhill cooker cost nearer £80-100 a year.
With most electric range cookers, the cooker must be on low when not wanted, so the cost would be even higher!
I have concentrated on making the oil, gas, pellet and wood cookers as efficient and controllable as is possible, with add on electric ovens, grill and hob for summer use on the 5 oven models.
If you want to be Carbon Neutral, then the log wood option is the way to go, or if you want an automatic, timed Carbon Neutral cooker/heater then look at the wood Pellet cooker. It’s more work than an oil or gas cooker but a lot less than a log wood.
But if you do buy electric, please then remember to install a radiator in the room for heating, or you might get a shock when your first electricity bill arrives.
**** The explanation for this is very simple, electricity is not really a fuel like oil, gas or wood, but is a means of transmitting energy. The electricity itself is generated from oil, gas, coal, or some renewable’s, and usually at 40-70% efficiency. But there is further transmission losses around 10% of the energy before it arrives at you house (every heard the high voltage lines crackling and buzzing?). Hence for each Kw of energy burnt at the power station only 1/3 kW arrives at you house. So around 2.5 kW’s of gas would be used at the power station and you would get 1 kW of energy at you house, releasing .525Kg of CO2 in stead of .204Kg’s if you had burnt the gas directly in your Thornhill range cooker.
If you want to go ‘Off grid’, the pellet cooker is probably the best way to go, it uses little electricity but will come on and off automatically so you have a warm house when you come home.