Do your bit for low-carbon power: bake this weekend

Mike Fell
2 min readMay 22, 2020


Do you bake at home? Do you care about the climate and renewable energy? If so, you could help by baking this weekend with ‘surplus’ renewable power.

Bread image by RitaE from Pixabay

You may have seen headlines about the need to switch off renewable power generators this weekend (23/24 May 2020). This is because there is forecast to be lots of sun and wind, but low demand (due to bank holiday + lockdown). There is a risk the grid could get overloaded, hence the need to turn off wind and solar plants.

The other way to deal with this is to use more electricity. This may seem odd, because we are usually told to save energy to help the climate. But at times like this weekend, the more power we use, the more chance the generators won’t need to be turned off. The electricity you use will be very low-carbon, and you’ll be helping ensure smaller generators get paid (the larger ones get paid to turn off!).

One way to do this would be just to go around your home turning on appliances even if you don’t need them. However, for most people this will cost money and feel very wasteful. A much better option is to take useful things you might otherwise do before or after the weekend, and do them then instead. Things like…

Baking! Whether you bake a little or a lot, or have just been thinking about it, now is the time to seize the day — or the weekend.

If you get your baking done this weekend you’ll be using mainly renewable power to do it, and maybe helping make it easier to manage the national grid too. Of course, it doesn’t just have to be baking, but electric ovens are one of the higher power-consuming appliances in homes — plus it is clearly more fun than the washing.

If you want to check the best times to bake, take a look at, the tool we developed to help you plan. You should also check out Octopus, who are actually paying some smart meter customers to use electricity on Sunday and have a nice explainer on why.

To get regular updates on when is best to bake, simply follow @baking4cast on Twitter. This blog written by Mike Fell, Should I Bake developed with Ed Sharp and Andy Brace.



Mike Fell

Researcher on energy flexibility at @UCL_Energy by day. Also interested in art and open science.