WINTER is coming and it might be tempting to turn on your electric heater to stave off the cold.
Dropping temperatures and rising costs mean millions of households are trying to keep warm without bursting the bank.
Your electric heater could be adding to your energy bill
Rising wholesale gas prices are seeing energy bills soar, despite interventions from the government.
So many will be looking for ways to save on their costs as Christmas draws in.
Below, 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 cheap and seem like an obvious solution to staying warm.
Because you can apply the heat directly at you and warm up just the room you’re using, you’d think it would be a cheaper alternative to turning on the heating.
But actually, these types of heaters actually use a lot more energy than you think.
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 price comparison site Uswitch, a plug-in electric heater uses around three kilowatt hours of energy (kWh).
The current price cap sets a limit of 28p per kWh.
So if you were looking at the maximum you could be charged to use an electric heater, you would multiply 28p by three, because that’s the number of kWh it uses.
This means per hour it would cost you 84p to run.
If you leave it on for an evening while you’re watching TV for, say, four hours, it will cost £3.36.
That’s £23.52 a week and a whopping £94.08 a month.
That’s more than it would have been last year, when average energy prices were 18.9p per kWh.
Looking ahead to October, the price cap is expected to be around 36p.
That means an electric heater will cost you £1.08 per hour.
If you leave it on for four hours a day, every day of the week, that’s £30.24 a week.
Of course, this is the maximum you would pay per kilowatt of energy, and you’re unlikely to use an electric heater all throughout the year.
However, if you want a cheaper alternative, a log burner might be a cheaper solution.
Or you could cosy up under an electric blanket.
We have also revealed how to use a thermostat to save on your bills.
Are you concerned about your energy bills?
Many households are struggling with rising energy costs at the moment.
That’s despite Liz Truss’ announcement of a price freeze to energy bills for two years for all UK households.
But if you are worried about your energy bills then making use of alternatives such as these is one way to keep costs down.
We looked at the six “vampire” devices you should switch off to stop paying out unnecessary costs.
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.
There’s also help through the £400 energy rebate, and all the cost of living payments millions are eligible for.