|Also, energy costs vary from region to region. If you want to know how much
electricity your space heater uses, you'll need a recent electric bill to work along
with the example.
You'll need two pieces of information from your bill; the amount due for the
current month and the number of kWh (kilowatt hours) used. You can find the
kWh usage in the meter reading section of your bill.
The amount of electricity used by a space heater is measured in watts and
expressed on your utility bill as kilowatt hours (kWh). Technically speaking,
kilowatt hours is the product of power in kilowatts (1000 watts) and time in
hours - not kilowatts per hour. But for the purposes of this explanation,
kilowatts per hour is sufficiently accurate.
Step 1. Determine cost per kWh (kilowatt hour)
The easiest way to do this is divide your total current monthly bill by kWh
Monthly bill ÷ kWh usage = Cost per kWh
This isn't the most accurate way to determine the cost per kWh because all
electric bills include a customer service charge of $6 or more which in effect
increases the cost per kWh by 5-10% depending on the amount of your bill. So
it's up to you, you can either use the full billing amount or subtract the service
charge before you divide it by the kWh usage.
For the examples here I'm going to include the monthly service charge because
you really don't have the option to pay it. I typically spend around $69 a
month for 438 kWh of electricity. When I plug the numbers into the formula
above it looks like this:
69 ÷ 438 = 0.158 So my cost per kilowatt hour is slightly less than 16¢.
Not coincidentally, your cost per kWh equals the cost to run a 1,000 watt
space heater for one hour.
Step 2. Determine the cost to run any wattage space heater per hour
Cost to run space heater per hour = heater watts x .001 x cost per kWh
For a 1,500 watt space heater at a rate of $0.158 per kWh, the formula looks
1,500 x .001 x .158 = .237, or 24¢ per hour rounded up.
Some personal space heaters, like the Toasty Toes Footrest heater, use only
90 watts of power and cost practically nothing to run:
90 x .001 x .158 = .014 or 1½¢ per hour rounded up.
Step 3. Estimate monthly cost to run
Let's say I plan on running my 1,500 watt space heater every day of the month
for 6 hours. This is how to figure out how much to budget for:
$0.24 (per hour) x 6 (hrs) x 30 (days) = $43.20.
How much will you pay?
Electric rates in New England are some of the highest in the country. The
national average according to the EIA is 12½¢ per kWh. So whatever the rate
is in your area, you now have the know how to budget for monthly space
heater use and avoid an unpleasant surprise when you open your electric bill.
How Much Does It Cost To Run A 1,500 Watt Space Heater?
Most electric space heaters and
electric fireplaces are rated at
1,500 watts. This would be the
"high" setting on the heater.
However, most space heaters
also have a "low" setting or a
thermostat, so for the sake of
simplicity we'll assume the
space heater in this example is
operating continuously at the
full power setting of 1,500