YOU might think an electric heater is a savvy way to stay warm without turning the heating on – but it could cost you.
Colder temperatures and rising costs mean many households are trying to stay warm without spending a fortune.
Soaring energy bills means many families will be looking to alternative ways of staying cosy this winter.
But some solutions are pricier than you think.
Here we look at the running costs of an electric heater.
An electric heater is a plug-in device that works as electricity is passed through a resistor and converted into heat.
The portable appliances are usually inexpensive to buy and seem like an obvious solution to staying warm.
Because you can direct the heat directly at you and warm up just the room you’re using, it seems like it would be a cheaper alternative to turning on the heating.
But actually, the amount of energy that these heaters use can make them an expensive way to keep warm.
Here’s the equation you use to work out how much your devices are costing you:
Cost = power (kilowatt) x cost of one kWh (pence) x the length of time (just the one off meal, or over a week or month.)
How much to run an electric heater?
According to Uswitch, a plug-in electric heater uses around 3 kilowatt hours of energy (kWh).
The average cost of electricity, according to energy regulator Ofgem, is now 18.9p per kWh.
So, to get the hourly cost of running an electric heater, we multiply 18.9p by 3, because that’s the number of kWh it uses.
That puts the running cost at 56.7p per hour.
If you leave it on for an evening while you’re watching TV for, say, four hours, it will cost you £2.26.
And if you do that every day for a week, that’s £15.82.
That adds up to a hefty £70 a month.
The cost is not too dissimilar to the price of running an oil-filled radiator.
We worked out that the oil radiator costs 42p an hour to run., which would be £1.68 for four hours.
A log burner may be a cheaper solution, according to calculations by the Stove Industry Alliance.
Or you could cosy up under an electric blanket – we worked out that it costs just 0.8p to run one for 30 minutes.
Today we revealed how to use your thermostat to save £100 a year on bills.
Are you concerned about your energy bills?
Many households are struggling with rising energy costs at the moment.
Energy regulator Ofgem increased the Energy Price Cap to £1,277 in October, adding £139 to the average household bill.
A string of energy provider collapses has also not helped the situation.
If you are worried about your energy bills then making use of alternatives such as these is one way to keep costs down.
We’ve also looked at 10 energy efficient gadgets that could shave a few pennies off your bill.
Some government schemes can also help if you are eligible.
The cold weather payment gets you £25 towards your bill if the temperature drops below a certain level.
Low income households can get up to £140 towards their electricity bills with the government’s warm home discount scheme.
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