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The 13amp and Economy 7 Electric AGAs (and 'AIMS')

 

Which Electric AGA?

There are three models of electric AGA: The 13amp Electric AGA,The Economy Electric AGA. (The Economy 7 model is also referred to as the 30amp Electric AGA.) and the AGA Total Control Cooker (see the separate section on the AGA Total Control Cooker.)

Their names make reference to the way they work - the basic priciple behind them all is the same (you cook with heat stored in the cast iron) but the way the heat is provided is different between them.

The 13amp Electric AGA

The 13amp Electric AGA uses a comparitively low powered connection (13amp or 2.5KW funnily enough!), similar to that of an electric kettle (technically it could plug in but it is strongly recommended that the AGA is on its own circuit as plugs and sockets are only designed for this type of load for a short period of time, and hard wiring the cooker to its own circuit also means you shouldn't overload the 'ring main' or socket circuit).

Its internals and workings are very similar to an oil or gas AGA but instead of using a burner, an electric element tops the heat up in the cast iron as and when required throughout the day. Conduction and convection then gently spread the warmth to the hot plates and ovens using air which is recirculated time and again - there are no 'products of combustion' to exhaust so no heat is wasted to a flue and the system is highly efficient.

Just like all heat storage AGAs the cast iron ovens are vented to outside, on the electric models this is through a 28mm (1") diameter copper pipe that runs from the back of the cooker to a small fan box mounted outside (you don't necessarily need to site the cooker on an outside wall, the pipe can run a short distance sideways behind the kitchen base units to outside).

As there's no burner to clean, maintenance is minimal and low cost - just a safety check every 5 years or so.

The 13amp electric AGA is available in two, three or four oven models with or without the electric module in all colours and special editions (except Claret).

The 13amp electric AGA also comes with AIMS - AGA's energy saving intelligent management system (see below for details) as a standard fitment.

Runnning costs - approximate use for the cooker running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week are:

Model Units (KW/h) Per Week Cost Per Week (@ £0.111p per unit)
Two Oven 220 £24.42 (approximately)
Three Oven 250 £27.75 (approximately)
Four Oven 270 £29.97 (approximately)

We have tested and found savings of between 10%-25% off these figures using AIMS (depending on the individual programme used).

Prices current at April 2012 (Price check on uswitch.com, supplied to postcode BD23 6DR).

13amp Electric AGA Element

The Economy 7 Electric AGA

(Also known as the 30amp electric AGA.)

The Economy 7 Electric AGA has a bank of heat storage bricks that 'charge up' in the cheap-rate Economy 7 period overnight (reaching temperatures of up to 725 degrees Celsius), this heat is then transferred across to the hot plates and ovens when needed during the day. As the 'core' of heat storage bricks is charged overnight in a shorter time period this means a higher powered connection (a standard 32amp cooker circuit) is required.

Highly efficient insulation retains the heat inside the cooker so it isn't too hot to touch (surface temperatures are much the same as all other AGAs) and there's easily enough heat to last for a full day's cooking. If the heat store does get low and it's still peak rate time the cooker will detect this and boost itself (only to a lower level though) until the cheap rate starts and it can fully charge up again.

The ovens are ventilated to outside using exactly the same system (28mm copper pipe and external fan box) as the 13amp electric AGA.

The economy 7 electric AGA is available as a two or four oven model (not three oven unfortunately), in all the AGA colours (except Claret) and can be fitted with the optional electric module. (The economy 7 has a slightly different front plate so isn't available as a Classic or Emma Bridgewater Special Edition but you can fit colour matched cast iron lids if you wish.)

Unfortunately the economy 7 electric AGA isn't available with AIMS at the moment.

Running costs though are the cheapest of any AGA. This is because the power is used during the cheap-rate overnight period when power is generally half price or less:

Model Units (KW/h) Per Week

Cost Per Week (@ £0.054p/night rate unit)

Two Oven 224 £13.27 (approximately)
Four Oven 274 £15.81 (approximately)

Prices current at April 2012 (Price check from uswitch.com, supplied to postcode BD23 6DR).

Have a question on the Economy 7 Tariff? Click here to see information about it or Click here to see the separate FAQ's page.

Pearl Ashes AGA

Wiring Requirements

The 13amp AGA needs its own circuit from the consumer unit (the consumer unit is also known as the fuse box). A 16amp circuit breaker should be used and (normally, unless there's a very long cable run) 2.5sq mm cable to a Crabtree Switched, Fused Spur point to the side of the cooker. (If you already have a normal cooker circuit this can usually be easily adapted to feed the AGA.)

The Economy 7 AGA needs a standard 32amp cooker circuit (an existing one can usually be re-used or adapted). The clever part is the second circuit that's used: an economy 7 meter has a second set of terminals that only come on during the cheap rate period, the AGA has a second circuit connected to these terminals so whenever the cheap rate is available, the cookers 'brain' knows, it also knows to only charge up during this time, clever stuff!

(See below for more info on the Economy 7 tariff.)

Easy To Position

Because it's electric there's no need for a flue or chimney, after all there are no gas or oil fumes to get rid of. (It still has a small 28mm oven ventilation pipe to outside because, just like all traditional AGAs, the cast iron ovens vent to outside.) This means greater flexibility as to where in your kitchen you want your AGA to be.

The Economy 7 Tariff

Economy 7 is available everywhere in the UK and to get it, it's normally just a case of ringing your electrictiy supplier and requesting a change of tariff. They'll then arrange to come and fit you a new 'dual rate' electric meter. The new meter has a radio teleswitch built in - this receives a signal to let it know when to count on the cheap rate scale (normally midnight to 7am, but this can vary from area to area) and when to count on the normal rate.

You don't notice when the switch over happens each day (there's no iterruption of power at all), you just get a guaranteed 7 hours of cheap electicity every day. You shouldn't be charged for the change of tariff and new meter either.

Typical prices are slightly higher during the day than a 'normal 24 hour single rate' tariff but much cheaper overnight so as long as the greater proportion of your usage is overnight you'll be better off on Economy 7. (You can also use your washing machine, tumble dryer, hot water immersion heater and dishwasher overnight too to maximise the savings.)

One extra point to note - if you're having an Economy 7 Electric AGA installed and changing to the Economy 7 tariff then make sure the extra wiring (for the AGA's extra 'signal circuit') is done before the electric board come and change the meter - your electrician can't connect to the meter's extra terminals; so the cables should be installed ready for the meter man to do it at the same time the new meter is fitted.

Questions about Economy 7? See the Economy 7 FAQs page.

Under Control with AIMS (Also Available for Gas Fired AGAs too)

Standard on 13amp electric AGAs (and optional on most gas AGAs): the AGA Intelligent Management System [AIMS] allows you to program your AGA to be ready to use when you want it, and at a lower temperature (or even off) when you don't.

AIMS allows the AGA to drop to a lower temperature in the middle of the day (and / or overnight) when it's not in use, the clever bit will then will work out when to switch the cooker back on so it's ready and up to temperature when you need it.

Everyone's daily routine can be different - with AIMS this is no problem, it's very flexible allowing one or two periods of 'normal cooking temperature' per day with a lower temperature when you don't need to be able to use the AGA (whilst you're at work, or asleep for example).

If you unexpectedly get home and the cooker is at a lower temperature you can easily boost it back up at the touch of a button. After this the controller will revert back to the normal settings.

For those who want to use the AGA in the traditional manner (i.e. on all the time), just set it to manual and you're done - it's then just the same as any other oil, gas, economy 7 or solid fuel AGA.

Going on holiday? Another great feature with AIMS is the ability to tell it when you're going and the cooker will be low (or off) whilst you're away and come back on ready for when you get back.

All this is not only really useful, but will save energy too, depending on how you program it, with AIMS you could see fuel savings in the region of 10-29% (electric) or 10-25% (gas).

 

AGA AIMS Remote Control

Retrofitting AIMS to an older AGA

AIMS retro-fit kits are now available for older 13amp AGAs. (We can fit AIMS to the older 'LM' models - please ring for details). Identifying the different models is quite easy: the LM has a centre shroud between the lids, LMVs [extended vent models] don't.)

Gas AGAs (except balanced flue models) made after 1974 can also be retrofitted with AIMS (this includes boiler models but do bear in mind that if you lower the AGA's temperature you will get less hot water).

Oil AGAs (again those made after 1974) can be upgraded and converted to 13amp electric with AIMS using official, fully guranteed kits that are made by AGA- please give us a call for more details.

 
Identifying a 13amp Electric AGA 'LM' model - the top plate has the shroud between the lids as shown below.
AGA AIMS Remote Control
 

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