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Don’t let climate change outsmart you: make your Earth Hour last all year

Well-known baker Ian Cumming shares his smart resolutions for making Earth Hour last through 2017 and beyond

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Earth Hour, which falls at 8.30pm on 25th March, Ian Cumming, well-known TV baker and travel photographer, has pledged to make his Earth Hour last all year. He’s come up with some easy, try-at-home resolutions to encourage others to do the same, using feedback from his smart meter as inspiration, and also developed a new energy saving recipe with the help of his smart meter.

From being innovative with natural heat sources, to using his smart meter to help reduce energy waste, Ian’s Earth Hour resolutions show that getting smart about climate change starts with small, thoughtful changes at home.

Earth Hour is a global environment movement run by WWF and volunteer organisations. It’s the world’s largest demonstration of support for action on climate change, and an inspiring reminder for people to take action on reducing their own carbon footprint.

Asking your energy supplier to upgrade you to a smart meter is an easy step to take towards protecting the planet. 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 reduce energy waste at home.

Smart Energy GB, the voice of Britain’s smart meter rollout, is encouraging people to sign up to a Twitter ‘Thunderclap’ to help make the 10th anniversary of Earth Hour count. The tweets will go out the day before Earth Hour, creating a tidal wave of reminders to go green and get a smart meter.

Ian’s resolutions for making Earth Hour last all year

  1. Be wise about warmth. I’m going to be more resourceful with heat this year – leaving the oven open as it cools, melting butter and defrosting bread in natural sunlight or on top of a radiator, and making use of steam generated from cooking. I’ve even been thinking about what I could cook in the natural warmth generated by my compost heap.

  2. Cook smarter. This year I’m focusing on integrating lots of small energy saving tricks I’ve discovered with my smart meter, such as cooking pasta in pre-boiled water with the heat switched off, using pans with a bigger surface area, cooking whole meals in my slow cooker, and whipping up cakes and bakes in the microwave.

  3. Mind your miles. I’m a travel photographer so it’s important I plan trips carefully to minimise air miles, and I use my bike or my own two feet as much as I can. This year, I’m going to buy more second hand clothes as the production and transport of goods has a high carbon impact.

  4. Reduce waste. I think small habitual changes are most impactful, so I’m trying to knock a minute or two off my shower time, avoid leaving things on standby, update to LED light bulbs as the old ones run out, and use an electric blanket in the bedroom instead of a fan heater.

  5. Be resourceful. Creativity is key when it comes to making positive changes, and enjoying the great outdoors is a good place to start. This year I’m going to experiment with some outdoor cooking methods, as well as continuing to dry clothes outside and growing my own vegetables when I can

Ian’s energy saving mojito cake 

To enjoy during Earth Hour itself, Ian has developed a green-themed mojito microwave cake, which is the latest mouth-watering treat in his ongoing series of energy saving recipes.

The cake has an energy cost of 2p, and takes just two minutes to make in the microwave. The recipe can be found here.

Ian has used his smart meter to help him accurately test which cooking methods and techniques use the least energy and to give every one of his energy saving recipes its own energy cost. This new energy saving microwave cake is the perfect planet-friendly treat! 

Ian Cumming said: “I’ve always tried to be eco-friendly, but sometimes you need some visibility around your lifestyle patterns, and some inspiration to get started. When I upgraded to a smart meter last year – which shows me how much energy I’m using and how much it’s costing – it was a total revelation for my whole family.

“I’ve pledged to make my Earth Hour last all year, using information from my smart meter as inspiration, and hope to encourage others to do the same. I hope people enjoy making my energy saving mojito cake, as a fun and tasty way to save energy.”


Claire Maugham, Director of Policy and Communications at Smart Energy GB, said: “Ian’s resolutions for Earth Hour are really imaginative and I’m thrilled that his smart meter has helped to inspire and inform him along the way. I’ll definitely be trying the energy saving mojito cake at home.

“More than eight in ten people with smart meters have taken steps to reduce energy use, so Earth Hour is a great opportunity to contact your supplier about arranging your upgrade. 

“Smart meters lay the foundation for smarter energy grids, as well as being a unique platform for innovation across the industry. Embracing digital technology means we can all look towards a cleaner, greener Great Britain, with an efficient and intelligent energy system, and a reduction in CO2 emissions.”

Rebecca Williams, Climate and Energy Specialist at WWF-UK, said: 

“Our Earth Hour campaign is all about encouraging the small changes everyone can make to be more sustainable and play their part in tackling climate change.

“Across Great Britain, smart meters are already encouraging millions of unnecessary lights and screens to be switched off, and more thermostats to be kept in check. Requesting a smart meter from your energy supplier is a great step you can take towards reducing your carbon footprint.”

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.

Download Ian's picture here.

About Ian’s energy saving recipes

Since upgrading to a smart meter as part of Great Britain’s national rollout, Ian has been exploring a range of ways to reduce the energy used to make tasty home-cooked food.

As with all his energy saving recipes, the energy cost for Ian’s energy saving mojito cake has been calculated in line with Ian’s chosen tariff and supplier at the time of development. Energy prices and tariffs vary.

About Earth Hour

Earth Hour was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage more than 172 countries and territories worldwide. Earth Hour 2017 is on 25th March 2017, 8:30 pm.

About Smart Energy GB’s Twitter Thunderclap

Working with WWF, Smart Energy GB has set up a Thunderclap on Twitter to encourage people to ask their energy supplier about getting a smart meter to make their Earth Hour count. It’s a simple step people can take to go green and get their energy under control.

We are trying to get as many people as possible to sign up to increase the reach of the Thunderclap. A tweet will go out from all participants’ accounts the day before Earth Hour to raise awareness of the campaign, and the possibility of getting a smart meter.

Please sign up to the Thunderclap with Twitter and share with your networks.

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 is reaching all households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales. For more information visit our website

About smart meters and the rollout

Smart meters replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. They enable accurate bills, near real time information on energy use in pounds and pence, and greater control over the way we buy and use energy. The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure.

Almost 5 million smart meters have already been installed in homes and microbusinesses, and between now and 2020 every household in England, Scotland and Wales will be offered one at no additional cost. Contact your energy supplier today about installing your smart meter.

Smart Energy GB media contacts

For more information including interview requests, case studies of smart meter users, infographics, photography and video content please contact the Smart Energy GB media team:

Smart Energy GB:

Naomi Adams: [email protected]; 0203 019 1056 / 07921 836 986 

Michael Tighe: [email protected]; 0203 019 1055 / 07753 221 796