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Aga range cooker relative efficiencies

Lets look at the relative efficiency of using gas or electric to heat your Aga range cooker. Gas is cheaper per kWh than electricity but it's less efficient. Most gas or oil cookers use an open flue. Cold air is drawn in from outside, used for combustion and then expelled via the flue. How much air? The flue is a pipe usually 4 inches in diameter, matched to an air vent in your kitchen from outside (or it should be!). It's a lot of cold air coming in, and a lot of hot air going out! 

Electric Agas by contrast are 100% efficient at turning electricity into heat. With room venting of the ovens none of this heat is lost. The main thing that affects the efficiency of an electric Aga is the how well insulated your home is! 

Basically it takes a lot more kWh of gas to heat an Aga range cooker. My 4 oven cooker at home in winter uses about 111kWh of electricity a week, over a year it will average about 90kWh. Many owners use less! If it were running on gas that would be around 550kWh. Right now gas is one third the price of electric but you use five times as much! 

On top of all this the controllability of electric cookers means you can run them for much less than I do if you need to or in the summer for example. I'm a relaxed user with a busy household, its very easy to run electric cookers for less than me but we'd rather quote realistic figures than hopelessly optimistic 'factory' testing!

Lets run through the approximate costs of running a 4 oven Aga range cooker in 2023. The consumption estimates are our realistic best efforts based on our countless conversations with owners (and my own testing when it comes to multi element electric), not factory figures from brand new cookers! 

  • Single element electric (13amp) £99 (300kWh) per week. £5,148 annually.
  • Natural gas £55 (550kWh) per week. £2,860 annually + servicing.
  • Oil £54 (60litres) per week. £2,808 annually + servicing.
  • Multi element electric (13amp or 32/40amp) £29.70 (90kWh) per week. £1,544.40 annually.

There is over £3,600 between the most expensive and cheapest option here in cash terms. In environmental terms the difference is even more stark. A 4 oven oil cooker creates nearly 8 tons of carbon a year, my own multi element electric less than 1 ton. The grid just keeps getting greener and if you have solar panels you can run your cooker for almost no cost. In pounds or carbon! 

Aga flue efficiency

Matthew Bates

Matthew Bates

Matthew is from a farming family near Bath and a graduate of King's College London who decided not to follow the 'standard' path into banking or the law. He has been working with these fabulous cookers in some form or another since 2003. Matthew runs Blake and Bull from beautiful Bradford on Avon, near Bath. Alf the golden retriever makes sure the working day finishes at 6pm sharp - dog walk time!