Once upon a time, consumers simply bought products that they preferred, and paid no attention to the amount of money they cost to run. These days, with the prices of running appliances rising and the debate concerning the environment changing on a daily basis, consumers are finding there are many more points to consider, when it comes to choosing a product.
The main concern is the cost of running these appliances and recently the focus has turned towards the domestic oven. People who are concerned about paying fuel bills, now want to know if it is cheaper to use a gas or electric oven.
Well, experts in the energy industry, in particular, the not-for-profit energy group Ebico, say that typically it is cheaper to cook with gas than electricity, provided that both the appliances are modern and of a similar size and energy rating.
The way ovens generally work is by having a thermostat that reduces the temperature of the oven once the desired heat has been raised. It therefore comes down to the cost of the energy it takes to get the oven to this desired temperature, and then maintaining it at this level.
The Energy Saving Trust say that gas and electric ovens actually use the same amount of energy units, so there is no difference here, but it is the cost of the units you need to be concerned about, as it is this that affects the running costs.
As gas costs around 6p per Kilowatt hour (KWh) and electricity 12p per KWh, it is twice as expensive to cook using electricity. And if you consider that your cooking costs typically account for around 4pc of the average household’s £1,200 energy bill, it is worth making sure you are saving money wherever you can.
Another point to consider when choosing an oven is that historically, the cost of electricity has risen much more quickly than that of gas. This is because in recent years there has been the addition of green taxes being added to electricity and not to gas.
In fact, a report published by Consumer Futures, a group that analyses the impact policy changes will have on consumers in regulated markets, said that any households that rely on heating provided by electricity would see their bills rise by approximately £282 by 2020.
This was because largely, electricity customers are bearing the brunt of the cost of energy efficiency policies. These include initiatives such as the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) – investment in the network – and Renewables Obligation, where households with solar panels and other energy generation devices are subsidised by other electricity customers.
There are some electric options to consider however, such as the microwave and halogen ovens. Microwave ovens cook in a fraction of the time that a gas or electric oven do, and a halogen oven combines the speed of a microwave oven with the browning power of a grill.
Overall however, the cheaper option, as regards to saving energy, is to opt for a gas oven.