I am running my aga for free!

In this sustained period of sunny weather we have been having, I have been running our aga for free.

It is a 2 oven pre 1974 aga which I converted to electric power with an Electrickit conversion some 5 years ago now. That in itself has kept the running costs low, as we can use it as and when we want to, it warms up very quickly, and there are no servicing costs or flue to worry about.

But even better than that, we had a 4kw array of solar panels put on our south facing roof 3 years ago, and as I write this on a bright sunny day, they are generating far more power than we need to run the aga.

I know that there was a capital cost to installing the solar panels, and they don’t work at night, but right now, I am really enjoying the thought that we are cooking all we want, and it is costing us nothing. And when we have finished cooking, we can just switch it off so that it does not add to the heat in the house. The panels are also generating enough electricity to run the dishwasher, washing machine, and all the hot water we can use via an emersion heater. Our summer electricity bill is almost nothing.

From an electricity consumption perspective, the aga main oven takes 1 hr 35 from room temperature to reach 200 degrees centigrade, and uses approximately 2.4Kw to get there. Then it uses 0.5Kw/ hr to maintain that temperature. The hobs, if put on a simmer setting of 4 (out of 8 available), take approximately 0.7Kw to get there (10 minutes), and 0.25 Kw / hr with the lid closed to maintain. And for a 4 oven model, the warming ovens take approximately 1 hr 15 minutes to reach maximum temperature of 110 degrees centigrade in the top oven, and uses 0.65Kw to get there. It then takes approximately) 0.4 Kw/hr to maintain that temperature. So even running the aga flat out, the panels are making more electricity than we can use.

What a great combination! I look forward to the cost of electricity storage systems coming down in price, and their efficiency increasing – then I think it would be an even better combination, and create even more smiles in me!