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What does it cost to service and repair an oil Aga cooker over a REALLY long period of time?!

In short… Fueling, servicing and repairing an oil cooker over the last 25 years cost £49,380. If it has been multi element electric the cost would have been £22,506. A saving of £26,874 or £1074.96 a year.

With a recent conversion to electric for one of our customers came a treasure trove of data on a two oven oil Aga cooker going back 25 years. Tucked carefully inside a custom made cover for the oil valve were 5 service information cards that detail every bit of work done to that cooker since May 1998!

In May 1998 a fresh faced Tony Blair was Prime Minister dealing with the early stages Kosovan war, All Saints were top of the pops, France was minting the first euro coins and just a few weeks away from winning the Football World Cup.

Meanwhile somewhere in Kent an oil Aga cooker was quietly smoking away! It seems to have been used year round, the visits are at various points throughout the year. Lets dig into the details, if you want to see the cards they are all below.

In total there are 74 visits recorded. An average of 3 per year until the last recorded visit in February 2023. The works required vary. Some are simple wick replacements, others are more complex! Over such a long period this gives us a fantastic insight into the long term reliability of oil Aga cookers. Sometimes the visits are close together, sometimes further apart but something always crops up sooner or later!

On the 29th November 2001 the engineer reports “Popping noises, base nearly blocked. Cleaned and relit”. Interestingly 17 years later on 7th August 2018 the same engineer reported “Base blocked solid, cleaned out & relit, new wicks.” Plus ca change!

Aga service record card

A callout in 2024 for an oil Aga is normally £120-£170 + VAT. Lets go with the mid point here and assume £174 with the VAT. This would cover most of the smaller parts but there are some valve changes and the like included in the list so we’ll round up slightly and go with an average of £180 per visit in 2024 £. Lets lay out the numbers! 

  • 3 visits per year at £180 in 2024 pounds is £540 a year on average.
  • Over the full 25 years that is £13,500 in servicing and repair costs.
  • At 50 litres of oil a week this cooker has burned 65,000 litres of oil. The 8 wheeler lorries that do most oil deliveries carry 18,000 litres. This cooker has consumed nearly 4 lorry loads of oil.
  • At just under 8 tons of carbon per year that is 192 tons of carbon and a LOT of particulate matter and smog.
  • I can’t find heating oil prices right back to 1998 but at an average of 55.2ppl (data from ONS since 2011) that is £35,800 in fuel.
  • With servicing and fuel costs this 2 oven cooker in Kent cost approx £49,380 in 2024 £ over a 25 year period. Ouch!
  • Oil prices are much higher now than the historical average of course, if they were to average their current 72ppl for the next 25 years the total running cost would be £2490 a year or £60,300.

Now that it is converted of course how does this compare?

  • With the extra control available from our electric systems running costs vary across the year. Lower in the summer and higher in the winter. We estimate a total consumption of approx 4250kWh if you use your cooker like me! With the cost per kWh at 28.62p that is £1216.35 annually in 2024
  • There are no servicing costs with a multi element Aga conversion from Blake & Bull and we can include a 5 year warranty in your conversion cost. Our care plans beyond this can cover you for as little as £2.26 a week or £117.52 a year for complete peace of mind.
  • Since 2011 (to make sure we are comparing like with like) the average cost of electricity per kWh has been 18.97p/kWh. Over the same period as the oil cooker then a Blake & Bull multi element electric would have cost £20,155. A care plan with us, taking care of any repairs required after year 5, would have cost £2350 for a total cost of £22,506
  • That is £26,874 LESS than and oil cooker over the same period.
UK Electricity prices since 2011

Of course we have no crystal ball and cannot know relative fuel costs over the next 25 years but really good data like this over really long time periods proves the point. Owning and running an electric conversion is a LOT cheaper than oil!

Just for fun what would have happened if you’d popped your £1000 saving in a stocks and shares ISA 25 years ago (at an annual return of 6%) and added the £1000 each year subsequently? By now you’d have nearly £40,000 in 2024 £!

Useful links…

Aga service record page 1

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!