Friday, July 15, 2011

How much does it cost to cook at home

In my initial post about electricity consumption I compared the energy used by the various different ways of making a cup of coffee in the morning. Today I decided to look at the electricity consumption of the devices that I might use to cook something more substantial.

If I was cooking a fancy meal, I would use the fan oven which consumes about 2.5 Kilowatts when heating up and even when I turn off the oven the fan continues to circulate air which consumes about 65 watts. Large joints of meat can take several hours to cook. I know that the thermostat would probably switch off the oven several times during this period, but since electricity costs about 14 cent per Kilowatt-hour I can see the cost of cooking a joint could be significant (maybe the pre-cooked chickens are good value after all).

If I was cooking something smaller I would probably use the rings on the hob on top of the cooker. My cooker has both large and small rings to accommodate different size saucepans. I realised that there would be a difference in the amount of energy required to heat up the different size of ring, but I was surprised to see that the consumption of the larger ring (2 Killowatts) was over 50% higher than the amount required to heat the smaller rings (1.3 Kilowatts). So I must remember to use the smaller rings as much as possible.

The grill consumed about 1.8 Kilowatts, while the toaster only consumed about 780 watts. The means that the toaster is much more efficient at toasting bread especially since the bred will be toasted faster in the toaster than under the grill.

The Microwave oven consumes about 1.6 Kilowatts when switched to full power. However, since it cooks food much faster than conventional cooking it probably would save money to use it whenever possible.

The clothes drier is the one device that I really expected to consume a lot of electricity because I have often heard complain about how wasteful this device is. However, I measured that it only consumed about 1.2 Kilowatts. I suppose that if you really want to be environmentally friendly you would put your washing in the drier and eat a cold meal. This would be more fuel efficient than hanging your clothes out to dry in the open and eating a hot meal.

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