Iceland and Utilita launch cost cutting workshops and say people can save money by microwave cooking
Shoppers struggling with rising food prices and utility bills can attend free workshops to save £604 on their annual spending thanks to a new campaign from Iceland and Utilita Energy.
With inflation at 10.1 percent driven largely by rising food and energy costs, Iceland will also introduce energy-saving cooking guidelines on its product packaging.
New research by Utilita has revealed the seven most commonly used cooking methods and ranked them by how much they cost to use per day, week, month or year.
The electric stove came at the bottom of the pile, while the most economical to use is the humble microwave, according to the findings.
Crisis: Tightness in the cost of living remains the biggest national problem facing consumers, says Icelandic boss Richard Walker
During the campaign, both brands will also be selling a 4.5 liter Tower Housewares airfryer at a discounted price of £35.
The duo claim this purchase would ensure that customers “recover their investment in approximately 47 days after avoiding the furnace.”
Utilita and Iceland’s ‘Shop Smart, Cook Savvy’ campaign will be launched in early September “to help families better understand the cost of cooking and identify the most economical cooking methods available to them to further increase the budget.” ‘.
As part of the campaign, households can attend thousands of free workshops across the UK, detailing 15 ways to cut energy bills, including five ways to save up to £604 a year on cooking.
How much does cooking cost?
According to the findings of Iceland and Utilita, most households in the UK spend about 43 minutes a day cooking. Forty-two percent admitted to using the oven as standard and relying heavily on it for their cooking needs.
Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said they had no idea how much their cooking equipment costs to use.
The research suggests that an electric stove is the most uneconomical method of cooking, costing 87 pence a day, which amounts to more than £316 a year.
Meanwhile, gas stoves cost around 33 pence a day to run, which works out to just over £10 a month and £120 a year.
Slow cookers and air fryers, both of which have peaked in popularity in recent years, cost 16p and 14p per day respectively to use, the findings suggest.
For households looking to save money on their energy bills, the research suggests that a microwave could be the most economical option, costing 8 cents a day to use, which equates to 58 cents a week, just £2.50 a month and £30 a year.
The figures are based on the assumption that ovens are used for an average of 43 minutes per day, while other appliances, including a microwave oven, are used for approximately 20 minutes per day.
Iceland and Utilita believe that households can reduce their cooking energy consumption by 60 to 90 percent per year by changing their cooking habits.
How can I participate in one of the free workshops?
Beginning in September, there will be thousands of free workshops presented by Utilita to help consumers save money, potentially hundreds of pounds in total, on their energy bills.
The dates, times and locations for the free workshops will be announced on the Iceland and Utilita social media channels in early September.
Anyone who would like to lead the way can do so too join the Utility . online communitywhere all the important details are announced.
How Do ‘Cooking Behaviors’ Affect Bills?
The findings not only show the differences in the cost of using an oven or microwave, but also suggest that certain “cooking behaviors” add hundreds of pounds to people’s bills every year.
Utilita suggests using energy efficient appliances when cooking could help people save £287 a year.
Batch cooking, the study finds, could help households shave £158 a year off their bills, while using the right size pot with a lid could also help people save £72 a year.
The study also claims that people can save £68 a year by simmering food instead of boiling it while cooking. By avoiding overfilling the kettle, people can also cut their bills by around £19 a year, it adds.
What are top buyers from Iceland and Utilitia saying?
Richard Walker, Iceland’s managing director, said: ‘The cost of living crisis remains the biggest national problem facing consumers and as a private family business we are constantly looking at short and long term initiatives that provide some support.’
Bill Bullen, the founder and boss of Utilita, said: ‘For as long as we can remember, our kitchens have been designed around the oven as the main cooking method, which is not the case for many households today.
‘Much more energy-efficient cooking appliances such as air fryers, slow cookers and microwaves are becoming increasingly popular. However, the cooking instructions on food packages did not reflect this.
“Utilita and Iceland are closely aligned in our mission to help households earn more money. There are so many factors that neither Richard nor I can control today, but the cost of cooking is mutual ground with which we can help consumers. Hopefully this unique partnership will inspire other supermarkets to do the same and help consumers choose the most economical cooking methods.”
The cost of living of business czar and former Just Eat boss David Buttress: “This is the kind of consumer awareness campaign that will stay with us as it allows every household to rethink the way we cook, something we haven’t done before.” is done. ‘
He added: ‘I am hopeful that other supermarkets will follow suit to help their consumers find the cheapest way to cook.’
What will happen to the energy bill?
Rising global energy prices are driving up energy bills for UK households and businesses.
The October price cap will be announced at the end of this month, and energy industry analysts Cornwall Insight predict that an average annual bill will be £3,582, which is £200 higher than the previous estimate.
In January 2023, when the cap is due to be changed again, Cornwall Insight expects the cap to rise to £4,266.
The higher estimate means the average household would pay £355 per month, compared to £164 per month currently.
Price hike: Rising global energy prices are driving up UK energy bills
Energy costs have risen rapidly due to increased demand for gas as Covid-19 restrictions eased, as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This poses a threat to gas supplies from Russia, on which many countries depend.
The dire situation has even led to rumblings at the top of the chain at energy regulator Ofgem.
On August 17, an Ofgem director announced her resignation, accusing the regulator of favoring businesses over consumers with a rule change that will add hundreds of pounds to the average UK household energy bill.
Christine Farnish, a non-executive member of the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, Ofgem’s board of directors, tendered her resignation in early August.
Ofgem recently changed the rules so that the energy price cap can be changed every three months instead of every six months.
The regulator claimed that this would reduce the likelihood that more energy suppliers would collapse, and consumers would sooner feel the benefit of a future price drop. About 30 suppliers failed in the UK in the past year.
More than eight million households in the UK on means-tested benefits will receive a payment of £650, as part of the government’s wider response to help people manage the cost of living crisis. Those on certain disability benefits will receive a one-off payment of £150 in September and retirees will receive £300 on top of their standard winter fuel payment.
However, the government and energy suppliers are facing mounting criticism for not doing enough to protect households from the massive bill hikes that will roll in in the coming months.
If you are concerned about a rising energy bill or already have debts with your provider, contact your supplier as soon as possible and discuss the options available to you. If your energy supplier proves unhelpful, consider contacting Citizens Advice.
What’s up with food prices?
Recent official figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that UK inflation rose to 10.1 percent in July. Prices have been rising at the fastest rate for about 40 years.
A number of factors, including rising energy costs, contributed to July’s dismal inflation statistics, but food and non-alcoholic beverages were the biggest contributors to rising prices in July, the ONS said.
The cost of commodities such as bread, milk, cereal, cheese and eggs rose the fastest, while the cost of vegetables, meat and chocolate was also higher, the ONS said.
Prices also rose for other items, including toilet rolls, pet food and toothbrushes.
On the rise: A slew of supermarket items is also much higher than inflation, according to the ONS
Food commodity prices have soared after the Russian invasion of Ukraine disrupted supplies to the two countries, which are major exporters of goods such as wheat and sunflower oil.
Some commodities, especially grains and edible oils, have fallen significantly, but there is usually a lag of about six months before that feeds through to supermarket shelf prices.
The rising gas price has also increased the cost of transporting food, which has again led to higher prices.
Kien Tan, director of retail strategy at PwC, said: “Supermarkets had little choice but to pass on price increases to suppliers, who themselves are experiencing unprecedented inflation in input costs for raw materials and ingredients.
“This was especially acute in labour- and utility-intensive categories such as dairy, with reports that the price of half a liter of milk in some stores has more than doubled since the beginning of the year.
In addition, the Bank of England said in its latest monetary policy report that supermarkets expect inflation to rise further in the coming months, so it is unlikely that there will be any slowdown in the run-up to Christmas, especially as the slowing effect of inflation from the input costs are starting to permeate other categories, such as meat, vegetables and packaged groceries.’
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