How Much Does It Cost To Run A 1,500 Watt Heater For 1, 8, 24 Hours?

More than 85% of space heaters run on 1,500 watts. We look into how much 1,500 watts cost per hour, for 8 hours, and for 24 hours. This will give us an idea of how much does it cost to run 1,500 watt oil-filled radiator, ceramic space heater, infrared space heater, and so on. With electricity costs increasing so rapidly, the running cost of 1,500 watt heaters is increasing rapidly as well (direct linear relationship).

One of our readers also informed us that the price of electricity in Califonia (San Francisco Bay area) spiked to $0.76/kWh (a record-breaking price of electricity). At this absurdly high price, running a 1,500 watt heater costs more than $1 per hour (we will calculate how much exactly further on).

how much does it cost to run a 1500 watt heater for 8 hours
If the electricity prices spike beyond $0.45/kWh, you could be paying over $5 to run a 1,500 watt heater for 8 hours.

Namely, we have to start by answering this question:

How much electricity does a 1,500 watt heater use per hour? How many kWh?

All 1,500 watt heaters use 1.5 kWh of electricity per hour (when operating at 100% heating output). That means that the power consumption of 1,500 watt heaters is:

  • 1.5 kWh per hour. Heat generated: 5118 BTU.
  • 12 kWh per 8 hours. Heat generated: 40,944 BTU.
  • 36 kWh per 24 hours. Heat generated: 122,832 BTU.
how much does it cost to run a 1500 watt heater for 24 hours
Electricity consumption of 1,500 watt heaters is always the same. What really influences the running cost are the electricity prices (record-high at the moment).

We can calculate the 1,500 watts cost per hour by multiplying the electricity expenditure by the electricity cost like this:

1,500 Watts Cost Per Hour = 1.5 kWh × Price Of Electricity ($ Per kWh)

Here is just one example of such a heater running for 1 hour if the electricity price is $0.15 per kWh:

1,500 Watts Cost Per Hour ($0.15/kWh) = 1.5 kWh × $0.15/kWh = $0.225 Per Hour

This is just one electricity price ($0.15/kWh). In 2022 and early 2023, electricity prices can range anywhere from $0.05/kWh to up to $0.60/kWh. That $0.76/kWh cost of electricity in Califonia is just out of this world.

To adequately estimate the 1,500 watt heater running cost, we are going to look into 3 vital parts (accompanied by easy-to-read charts):

  1. Running a 1,500 watt heater per hour with different electricity prices ($0.05/kWh, $0.10/kWh, $0.15/kWh, $0.20/kWh, $0.25/kWh, $0.30/kWh, $0.35/kWh, $0.40/kWh, $0.45/kWh, $0.50/kWh, $0.55/kWh, $0.60/kWh). We are also going to look at that record-breaking $0.76/kWh heater running cost.
  2. Cost of running a 1,500 watt heater for 8 hours and for 24 hours. The daily running cost of these heaters can surpass $10 due to higher cost of electricity.
  3. Important: Reduced running cost of 1,500 watt heater with thermostats. Up till now, we were talking about heaters running at 100% output. Heaters with thermostats (600W / 900W / 1,500W input at Low / Mid / High settings) can run at about 50% reduced cost (with an average electric input of 750 watts instead of 1500 watts). We will look at how much these 1,500 watt heaters with thermostat cost to run (with effective 50% input-output).

Note: If you have any questions regarding the running costs, you can use the comment section below, give us some numbers, and we can help you out by estimating how much you will pay for running your 1,500 watt heater.

1,500 Watt Heater Cost Per Hour (At $0.05/kWh – $0.76/kWh Electricity Prices)

As we know, every 1,500 watt heater running at 100% heating output consumes 1.5 kWh per hour (that’s 1.5 kilowatt-hours).

The hourly cost of running a heater with 1,500 watt electric input thus depends on only one factor:

Price of electricity per kWh.

Here are the calculated hourly running costs of 1,500 watt heaters (oil-filled heaters, ceramic heaters, infrared heaters, radiant heaters, etc.) at different electricity prices:

Electricity Price ($/kWh): Cost Of Running 1,500 Watt Heater Per Hour:
$0.05/kWh $0.075 Per Hour
$0.10/kWh $0.15 Per Hour
$0.15/kWh $0.225 Per Hour
$0.20/kWh $0.30 Per Hour
$0.25/kWh $0.375 Per Hour
$0.30/kWh $0.45 Per Hour
$0.35/kWh $0.525 Per Hour
$0.40/kWh $0.60 Per Hour
$0.45/kWh $0.675 Per Hour
$0.50/kWh $0.75 Per Hour
$0.55/kWh $0.825 Per Hour
$0.60/kWh $0.90 Per Hour

As you can see, running a 1,500 watt heater can cost anywhere from $0.075 per hour ($0.05/kWh) to $0.90 per hour ($0.60/kWh).

The differences in running costs are directly connected to the cost of electricity in your area.

Alright, what about that record-breaking $0.76/kWh price of electricity?

In that extreme case in California, it cost our visitor a total of $1.14 per hour to run a 1,500 watt heater. If he would run such a heater for all day (24 hours), that would add more than $25 to the utility bill just for that 1 day.

Now, most of us run a space heater for 8 hours per day. Let’s have a look at how much does it cost to run a 1,500 watt heater for 8 hours at different kWh prices, and later for 24 hours:

How Much Does It Cost To Run A 1,500 Watt Heater For 8 Hours? (At Different kWh Prices)

If you run a 1,500 watt heater for 8 hours, the heater will use 12 kWh of electricity. How much does that 12 kWh of electricity costs? We have calculated the exact electricity costs for running a 1,500 watt heater for 8 hours at different electricity prices, and summarized the results in this table:

Electricity Price ($/kWh): Cost Of Running 1,500 Watt Heater For 8 Hours:
$0.05/kWh $0.60 For 8 Hours
$0.10/kWh $1.20 For 8 Hours
$0.15/kWh $1.80 For 8 Hours
$0.20/kWh $2.40 For 8 Hours
$0.25/kWh $3.00 For 8 Hours
$0.30/kWh $3.60 For 8 Hours
$0.35/kWh $4.20 For 8 Hours
$0.40/kWh $4.80 For 8 Hours
$0.45/kWh $5.40 For 8 Hours
$0.50/kWh $6.00 For 8 Hours
$0.55/kWh $6.60 For 8 Hours
$0.60/kWh $7.20 For 8 Hours

In 8 hours, a 1,500 watt space heater can consume anywhere from $0.60 ($0.05/kWh) to $7.20 ($0.60/kWh). Again, the exact cost of running a 1,500 watt heater for 8 hours depends on the price of electricity.

What about that poor fellow from California with a $0.76/kWh electricity cost? He would have to pay almost $10 to run a standard heater for 8 hours ($9.12, to be exact). That’s just absurd.

Let’s have a look at 24-hour cost of running a 1,500 watt heater as well:

How Much Does It Cost To Run A 1,500 Watt Heater For 24 Hours? (At Different kWh Prices)

If you run a 1,500 watt space heater for a whole day (24 hours), you will consume 36 kWh of electricity. Again, we have calculated the exact electricity costs for running a 1,500 watt heater for 24 hours at different electricity prices, and summarized the results in this table:

Electricity Price ($/kWh): Cost Of Running 1,500 Watt Heater For 24 Hours:
$0.05/kWh $1.80 For 24 Hours
$0.10/kWh $3.60 For 24 Hours
$0.15/kWh $5.40 For 24 Hours
$0.20/kWh $7.20 For 24 Hours
$0.25/kWh $9.00 For 24 Hours
$0.30/kWh $10.80 For 24 Hours
$0.35/kWh $12.60 For 24 Hours
$0.40/kWh $14.40 For 24 Hours
$0.45/kWh $16.20 For 24 Hours
$0.50/kWh $18.00 For 24 Hours
$0.55/kWh $20.80 For 24 Hours
$0.60/kWh $22.60 For 24 Hours

As you can see, 1,500 watt space heaters can use quite a lot of electricity when running 24 hours per day. Dollar-wise, running a 1,500W heater 24 hours will cost anywhere between $1.80 ($0.05/kWh) and $22.60 ($0.60/kWh), depending on the price of electricity.

The $0.76/kWh guy from California would have to pay $27.36 to run a 1,500 watt oil-filled radiator or any other 1,500 watt heater for 24 hours.

These costs are quite frightening, especially if you calculate how much running a 1,500 watt heater can affect your monthly utility bill. Here is where the heaters with thermostats have an edge:

Cost Of Running A 1,500 Watt Heater With Thermostat

Thermostats are the ultimate heater cost saving add-on. As we have written in our article about the most energy efficient space heaters with ECO thermostats here, the cost of running a 1,500 watt heater can be reduced up to 70% if you get a heater with a thermostat.

Realistically, the cost of using a heater is reduced by about 50%. This is true for heaters with  600 watt / 900 watt / 1,500 watt or 750 watt / 1000 watt / 1500 watt electric inputs at Low / Mid / High modes.

Namely, heaters with thermostats will achieve the set temperature (let’s say 72°F) running at full 1,500 watt heating output. Once that temperature is met, the thermostat will reduce the heating mode to Medium or Low (or it can even shut itself off completely).

The heating output will be reduced to only what is needed to maintain that set temperature. This will reduce the cost of running a 1,500 watt heater because it doesn’t have to run at 1,500 watts all the time. It can run on 600 watts or 900 watts, for example.

That means that cost of running a 1,500 watt heater with thermostat will be reduced to (if you take into account 50% savings and $0.20/kWh electricity price):

  • $0.15 per hour.
  • $1.20 for 8 hours.
  • $3.60 for 24 hours.

That’s why it always makes sense to get a space heater, be it an oil-filled heater, ceramic heater, infrared heater, and so on, with a built-in thermostat. The reduction in running costs is even bigger at a higher cost of electricity.


All in all, we hope that you now have an idea how much it costs to run a 1,500 watt heater for 8 hours and 24 hours, and per hour. The key takeaway is that the power consumption is the same but the price of electricity might vary. Due to different prices of electricity per kWh, we get different running costs for 1,500 watt heaters.

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