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The CSE's figures are no doubt based on access to a mains gas supply. If you have mains gas, this will beat all other energy sources in terms of price when it comes to heating and cooking.

Fine if you are living in an urban/suburban environment with mains gas. Out here 'in the sticks' there is no mains gas within 20 miles. OK, you can have bottled gas, but then you have to take into account the costs of having it plumbed in and the cost of having it delivered (or collecting it).

As to the microwave solution; my personal opinion is that it just heats, rather than cooks food - a microwaved spud is a microwaved spud - it does not look, smell, feel or taste like a baked spud.

May 3, 2016 at 9:40 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

@Robert Christopher, May 3, 2016 at 10:14 AM

I have done scrambled eggs and custard in the microwave, but I find having to open the door to stir or checking the temperature as bad as cooking on the hob, where the more frequent stirring results in a better result.

Why all the door opening? Most is put in, cook, remove, eat. Some involve one open & stir.

Scrambled eggs for 1 - 750W MW
2 eggs lightly whisked (5 secs) with fork to mix yolk & white
Add some milk and salt/pepper etc to taste, whisked (3-5 secs) with fork to mix
1m 40 s on full power
whisked (3-5 secs) with fork
40 secs on full power
whisked (3-5 secs) with fork

Hot chocolate - milk in mug, 1-x teaspoons hot choc powder on top. MW 1m 40s. Stir. 1m. Stir & drink.

In covered container:
Salmon from fridge for 1. MW full power 1m 20s. Eat
3 Frozen fish fingers - 1m 40s. Eat
1 Baked potato - 6 mins. Cabbage for 1 - 1m 30s.

@Halogen ovens

Table Appears a gas oven is cheaper than halogen

Full article Halogen ovens vs conventional ovens: which is cheaper?

May 3, 2016 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPcar

Re Halogen Cookers, thanks for the information.

May 3, 2016 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS


They have a standard capacity of 12 litres, but you can get an extension ring that increases it to 17 litres. The one I bought has a self-cleaning setting that works fine. Mrs S bought one for the caravan that is still working after 4 years.

May 3, 2016 at 1:57 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

@Salopian I am almost never confrontational
Today i just make a joke about people banging on.
..I wrote nothing against you at all, I am sorry if you read it that way.

May 3, 2016 at 1:56 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

SandyS, they're effecively a big cooking pot with a chunky lid. Smaller than a small microwave but round plus handles so takes up a similar space. They may have improved but my first one failed fairly quickly. I liked it but it wasn't that easy to clean. You effectively have one cooking pot.

May 3, 2016 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Robert Christopher
I've not come across Halogen Ovens before. During the winter months we have a wood burning range cooker which gives "free" boiling water and oven. The microwave is a backup for warming and cooking small amounts.

The Halogen oven sounds a good alternative for cooking things which microwave doesn't do well. Is yours a worktop model equivalent in size to a microwave or something larger?

May 3, 2016 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

@stewgreen 7:54:

No, I haven't got a smart meter (nor a sunbed come to that). But I do know that the wattage of the halogen oven is half that of our conventional oven and that it can roast a chicken in a similar time it takes the conventional oven to reach cooking temperature.

Why are you being so confrontational today? - did you get up this morning and put your foot in the bed-pan?

May 3, 2016 at 1:30 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Stewgreen. I had a scary grandmother with all her faculties who would clip the ears of any of us who was unnecessarily argumentative or failed to apologize.

May 3, 2016 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

It doesn't add up... on May 3, 2016 at 9:04 AM
"Note that it's "Europe", not individual European countries..."

So it's not the EU either ..... Maybe it won't exist by the time ITER is successful. :)

Martin A on May 3, 2016 at 8:51 AM
"Fusion power has always been 50 years in the future ... but is now > 60 years in the future."

I can remember when it was only 40 years in the future. I think it has little to do with the state of fusion technology. It is more affected by how long the expected working life has become, before being safely retired and not available to explain the lack of progress.

May 3, 2016 at 10:24 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

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