The cost of running an electric heater is determined by its wattage and electricity rates. Users can expect to pay between $3 per day in the most expensive United States states to around 90 cents per day in cheaper states.
Some heaters have a fixed wattage while others allow the user to vary the wattage to produce more or less heat. Higher-wattage heaters have the potential to produce more heat but as the wattage increases, the heater consumes more power, increasing the running costs.
A heater controlled by a thermostat is more economical to run than a heater permanently turned on and, unlike appliances using transformers, it ceases using electricity until the temperature drops and the thermostat switches on the heater. Oil-filled and storage heaters may reduce costs by retaining heat longer than fan or convection heaters.
The Running Cost
As of September 2010, the average price of a kilowatt of electricity in the United States varied from almost 28 cents in Hawaii to just under 8 cents in Washington state. Running a 1,350-watt electric heater at these prices costs between 37.8 cents and 10.7 cents per hour.