How much does it cost to run an electric heater?

The secret to saving money on heating in the winter is micro managing temperatures and heaters. Be vigilant about lost heat (heat loss from doors opening, bathroom fans, too little insulation, etc.) Keep rooms as cold as you can stand with a sweater on. When you do need to run an electric heater in a particular room, here is how to understand what you are paying:

Your local electric company bills by the kilowatt-hour. When you turn on a heater that consumes 1,000 watts for one hour, it consumes 1 kilowatt-hour. If you turn on a heater that consumes 1500 watts for 10 hours, it consumes 15 kilowatt-hours. The number of watts a heater uses times the number of hours you leave it on tells you number of watt-hours it consumes. Divide by 1,000 to get kilowatt-hours.

The rate you pay for a kilowatt-hour in your state may be anywhere from 6 to 18 cents per kilowatt-hour depending on the area! The USA average is 11.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.  In Michigan it is 10.72 cents. The aluminum disk inside your electric meter has to go around 100 times to measure 1 kilowatt-hour on most meters in the United States. So the cost to run a 1,500 watt electric baseboard heater in Michigan for 24 hours is $3.86.

Go to the website below to see what you pay in your state: