CRAVEN households are being given tips on how to cut their energy bills while cooking meals to combat the cost of living crisis with the launch of a new guide.

The video guide has been created as part of a project funded by North Yorkshire County Council’s stronger communities team to target residents who can most benefit from the advantages of slow cookers and other money-saving advice.

The council team worked with Kate Urwin, of Yorkshire Energy Doctor, to stage a series of workshops around the county for invited audiences, working with community groups in each area to identify the people who would benefit most.

Stronger communities funding of £7,000 paid for around 300 slow cookers to be distributed to people attending the workshops.Additional funding from Yorkshire Housing meant one of the sessions could be videoed.

Voluntary organisations will host their own slow cooker events across Craven early this year. There will also be slow cooker workshops at Ingleton and Bentham GP practices, thanks to further funding from Morecambe Bay CCG.

The county council’s executive member for stronger communities, Cllr Greg White, said: “Small, simple changes such as switching to a slow cooker can make a real difference to household bills at a time when every penny counts for many people. This scheme has taken practical advice to people across the county, as well as providing a slow cooker to help those most in need. Now, it is available to anyone.

“Slow cookers are relatively inexpensive to buy and much cheaper to run than a typical oven, so people can make a significant saving and do their bit for their environment at the same time. Slow cooker recipes also tend to use fresh food, particularly vegetables, so ingredients can be cheaper and meals healthier.”

A small slow cooker can be bought for around £20 and one to feed a family from around £35.

An electric oven will cost about 70p an hour. A small slow cooker that is big enough to feed two people will cost about 3p an hour, a bigger one, that could feed six or more people, about 10p an hour. So even though a slow cooker needs to be on for a lot longer than a conventional oven, it will still save money.

“Let’s face it,” said Kate Urwin, “we’re all looking to save money this winter, so this is one way that could help.

“We want to inspire people. We want to give them ideas of what a slow cooker can do and broaden their horizons about the sort of meals they can cook in it.

“Think of a slow cooker as just like a little oven, so most things you can cook in an oven you can cook in a slow cooker, including cakes. In fact, you can cook almost anything – except Yorkshire puddings, because a slow cooker doesn’t get hot enough.

“Also, with a slow cooker you can buy cheaper cuts of meat. Actually, cheaper cuts of meat work better in a slow cooker than more expensive ones, so you are saving on what you are buying and it’s cheaper to cook.”

View the video guide to using a slow cooker at

See further energy advice from Yorkshire Energy Doctor, which advises on anything to do with energy, at