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Recipes for cooking the smart way

22nd June 2016

Well known for his weird and wonderful cake and bake skills, Ian Cumming has now channelled his creativity into cooking up an energy saving storm.

Popular baker Ian Cumming has released a series of energy saving recipes, developed with the help of his smart meter.

Ian’s new recipes – designed to use as little gas and electricity as possible – are now available to download as recipe cards, complete with Ian’s energy saving tips and tricks for the kitchen. A selection of easy-to-follow recipe videos are also now available, as well as a short documentary about Ian’s energy saving crusade in the kitchen.

Since upgrading to a smart meter as part of Great Britain’s national rollout, Ian has been looking into a variety of ways to reduce the energy used to make tasty home-cooked food. An inventive cook, who became known for his quirky and original ways of doing things in the kitchen, Ian was keen to get creative when applying his eco-friendly ethos to his recipes. 

His new recipes offer innovative alternatives to traditionally baked dishes, as well as some great energy saving ideas that can be applied to everyday cooking. Ian used his smart meter to help him accurately test which cooking methods and techniques used the least energy and to give each of his recipes its own energy cost. 

Smart meters show you how much gas and electricity you’re using in pounds and pence, giving you the information you need to make positive changes and save energy at home. Everyone in Great Britain will be offered a smart meter at no additional cost by 2020.

Ian has developed the following delicious, energy saving recipes:

  • Chicken and lemon tagine – made in a slow cooker, which uses little more energy than a traditional light bulb
  • Feta and spinach steamed buns – a great alternative to baked bread rolls 
  • 90 second Welsh bara brith cakes – amazingly light sponge, which cooks in a minute and a half in the microwave
  • Elderflower, honey and blueberry cheesecake – a no-bake dessert that uses almost no energy at all 
  • Scottish salmon macaroni cheese – a delicious and easy to make dish, which is quickly grilled instead of baked 

The recipes, as well as Ian’s energy saving tips and tricks, aim to encourage people to think about how they could cook a little smarter at home and save both energy and money on their utility bills.  

Ian Cumming said: “I live in an energy disaster of a house and, when I got my smart meter installed, being able to see how much energy we were using and what it was costing was a total revelation for the whole family. It’s been an exciting challenge coming up with these energy saving recipes – I really hope everyone enjoys trying them at home and thinking about different ways to reduce their energy use when cooking.”

Claire Maugham, Director of Policy and Communications at Smart Energy GB, said: “Smart meters give us the accurate information and visibility we need to transform the way we use gas and electricity at home. From melting butter on the windowsill to whipping up a sponge cake in 90 seconds, Ian has come up with a fantastic range of ideas for cutting energy costs in the kitchen. His delicious energy saving recipes are a real inspiration – encouraging everyone to use their smart meter to take control and save both energy and money.”

To find out more or to download Ian’s new energy saving recipes with his energy saving ideas, visit our Smart Living section.


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All dishes together
Ian Cumming Chicken and lemon tagine


Feta and spinach steamed buns
Ian Cumming 90 second bara birth cakes
Elderflower, honey and blueberry cheesecake
Scottish salmon macaroni cheese

– Ends –

Notes to editors

About Ian Cumming

Ian Cumming was a finalist in the Great British Bake Off in 2015. He is also a travel photographer who has worked all over the world. Find out more at: or follow Ian on Twitter at @iancpix.

Ian is very interested in sustainable food, green living, and reducing society’s impact on the planet. He’s also an inventive cook, who’s become known for finding new ways to do things in the kitchen. His new recipes and energy saving tips and tricks are as creative as ever.

About Ian’s energy saving recipes

The energy cost for each recipe has been calculated in line with Ian’s chosen tariff and supplier at the time of development. Energy prices and tariffs vary. 

Any of Ian’s recipes can be published in print or online. Photographs and videos are also available to print or host online, as outlined below. 

To download Ian’s energy saving recipes for publication, or for trying at home, visit

A number of photographs of the energy saving recipes and Ian working on the project are available for download here. Please direct requests for additional photographs to the Media Relations team at Smart Energy GB. 

A short documentary film about Ian’s energy saving crusade can be watched online here. Three of Ian’s recipes have also been captured as short recipe videos, which can be watched online. In around 60 seconds you can learn to make Ian’s feta and spinach steamed buns, his Scottish salmon macaroni cheese, and his scrumptious 90 second Welsh bara brith cakes

Please direct requests for original video files to the Media Relations team at Smart Energy GB.

About Smart Energy GB

Smart Energy GB is the voice of the smart meter rollout. It’s our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to get their gas and electricity under control. Our national campaign has already begun and will reach all households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales.

About smart meters and the rollout

Smart meters will replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. They will provide consumers with accurate bills, near real time information on energy usage in pounds and pence, and greater control over their gas and electricity. The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure. Between now and 2020, everyone across England, Scotland and Wales will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier at no extra cost. More than three million smart meters have already been installed. To find out how you can get a smart meter from your energy supplier, pick up a leaflet from your local Post Office branch or find out more here.

Smart Energy GB media contacts

For more information including interview requests, photography and video content please contact the Smart Energy GB media team:

Smart Energy GB: 

Naomi Adams: [email protected]; 0203 019 1056

Janqui Mehta: [email protected]; 0203 019 1063/07715 665 112