In the UK, 1p per hour electric heaters are quite popular. The implied promise here is that such an electric heater will cost only 1 pence to run per 1 hour. £0.01 is a suspiciously low running cost. The real question we are going to address is this:
Do 1p per hour electric heaters really cost only 1 penny to run for 1 hour?
This is an almost unapprehensive low running cost for 1500 watt electric heater. If 1p per hour heaters would really be so cheap to run we could enjoy these kinds of heating costs:
- Running a 1p per hour heater would only cost £0.01 per hour to run.
- Running a 1p per hour heater for a day (with 8 hours of heating) only cost £0.08 per day to run.
- Running a 1p per hour heater for a whole month would only cost £2.40 per month to run.
Namely, a 1p per hour electric heater sounds too good to be true. And, cutting to the chase, it’s quite impossible for any 1500W electric heater to run on 1p worth of electricity per hour.
To see how much 1p per hour electric heaters actually cost to run, we have done some calculations further on (it can cost more than £60 per month to run). However, let’s first look at why 1p per hour electric heaters are just a marketing expression and have no basis in reality:
Do 1p Per Hour Electric Heaters Really Cost 1p Per Hour To Run?
In short, no. Here’s why:
Most electric heaters sold in the UK and the USA are 1500 watt heaters. That means they need an electric input of 1500W. If you run them for 1 hour, they will spend 1500 Wh or 1.5 kWh (kilowatt-hour) of electricity.
Now, we need to know how much does 1.5 kWh cost. If the running cost of these electric heaters would be only 1p per hour, the price of kWh should be less than 1 penny (0.66 of a penny or 0.0066 of a pound, to be exact).
If you check your electricity bill, you will quickly realize that electricity costs much more than that. Here are the average electricity costs:
- In the UK, the national average cost of electricity per kWh is 17.15 pence per kWh (according to the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy).
- In the US, the national average cost of electricity per kWh is about 13.19 center per kWh ($ cents).
In short, the price per kWh in the UK is 17.15 pence per kWh. If we wanted to run a standard 1500W space heater for only 1 pence per hour (this is a pound pence), the cost of electricity should be 0.66 pence per kWh.
As we can see, there is quite a difference between reality (17.15 pence per kWh) and the promise of 1p per hour electric heaters (0.66 pence per kWh).
Here’s the short version of all of this:
If the electricity prices in the UK would be 26 times lower, you could actually run a 1p per hour electric heater on 1 penny per hour.
Now, given that the prices of electricity are not so ridiculously low, you are actually spending 26 more than 1p per hour. That equals to a rough 1p per hour electric heater running cost of closer to 26p per hour.
Here is how we can calculate that:
How Much Does It Cost To Run A 1p Per Hour Electric Heater Per Hour, Day, And Month?
Again we take the standard 1500W electric heater that is marketed as a ‘1p per hour’ heater. Obviously ‘1p per hour’ is just marketing; we have shown that 1 pence per hour heaters consume a lot more than what the marketing would have you believe. How much exactly does it cost to run a 1p per hour electric heater?
We have calculated the running cost of 1p per hour heaters per hour, per day, and per month.
We know that running a 1500W heater for 1 hour will consume 1.5 kWh of electricity and that the UK national average price of electricity is £0.1715 per kWh. Here is how we can calculate the hourly running cost of these ‘1p heaters’:
Running Cost (1500W Heater) = 1.5 kWh × £0.1715 = £0.26 Per Hour
As we can see, the standard 1p per hour heater doesn’t cost 1p per hour to run. It more likely costs closer to a staggering £0.26 per hour to run.
If ‘1p per hour’ were true, you would see little to no increase in your monthly electricity bill. However, with the real running cost of £0.26 per hour, you will see much higher costs that will impact your electricity bill significantly. Here are the calculated costs:
- It costs £0.26 to run a ‘1p per hour electric heater’ per hour.
- It costs £2.09 to run a ‘1p per hour electric heater’ per day. That’s for 8 hours per day heating.
- It costs £14.56 to run a ‘1p per hour electric heater’ per week.
- It costs £62.40 to run a ‘1p per hour electric heater’ per month.
The last number – 1p heater increasing your monthly bill by £62.40 – is quite a leap from the ridiculously low £2.40 per month. You can see that the difference between the promise of 1p heaters and their actual power consumption can be as high as £60 per month.
Hopefully, you now know why 1p heaters are just an unsavvy marketing trick. With the electricity costs increasing, the running cost of these 1p per hour electric heaters can be even higher than what we have calculated.