Energy blog

The cost of portable electric heaters

Published by Sam Page on 02 November 2012

Despite manufacturer's claims about so-called 'eco-heaters', all portable electric heaters will consume exactly the same amount of electricity and produce the same amount of thermal heat, relative to power input. The only difference will be in how they deliver the heat, e.g. fan heaters are a good choice for quick heating of specific areas of a room, as you can direct the heat. Halogen heaters heat up quickly, while oil heaters cool down slowly.

The power/energy rating (watts or kWh) will dictate the running cost per hour of any heater. The most effective way to reduce running costs is to keep the heat in, insulating and reducing drafts will help keep bills down. Low cost solutions, such as heavy curtains, blinds, draft excluders will all help. Loft and cavity wall insulation, double-glazing can dramatically reduce heating bills too. 

Electric heaters, whether they are fan heaters, halogen heaters, oil-filled radiators or convector heaters are rated in Watts (W) or Kilowatts (kW). Check the power rating of your heater to determine the running cost per hour:

Power rating Running cost per hour
500W or 0.5kW 7.20 pence
1000W or 1kW 14.39 pence
1500W or 1.5kW 21.59 pence
2000W or 2kW 28.78 pence

..............based on the Average Electricity rate of 14.39p/kWh for a unit of electricity.