Last updated: January 29, 2023.
See how much it costs to run an electric fireplace in 2023, get 8 practical cost saving tips and use this calculator to see how much it costs you to run your (or any) electric fireplace.
Following the 2023 energy efficient electric fireplace study, the below reveals the running costs for electric fireplaces.
- Electric fireplaces cost $0.22 per hour, on average;
- Assuming 5 hrs of use per day at max power, electric heaters cost $7.58 per week and $32.50 per month to run; and
- As a result, on average electric fireplaces increase monthly US electricity bills by 28.3%.
Continue reading to get a more detailed running cost breakdown, access an electric fireplace electricity cost calculator, and get 8 useful tips to reduce your running costs.
Note: the following is based on an electric fireplace energy efficiency study, which analysed the power consumption of 117 different electric fireplaces. All of the data can be found here: Electric Fireplace Energy Efficiency Results [Most Efficient + Wattage & BTU For 117 Models].
- How much does it cost to run an electric fire for an hour?
- How much does it cost to run an electric fireplace per month?
- Cost to run an electric fireplace data summary
- Cost to run an old electric fireplace
- Are electric fireplaces expensive to run?
- Electric fireplace electricity cost calculator
- Cost to run an electric fireplace vs other electric heaters
- Reduce the cost of running an electric fireplace – 8 useful tips
- Final thoughts
How much does it cost to run an electric fire for an hour?
On average it costs $0.22 per hour to run an electric fire.
The cost to run an electric fireplace ranges from $0.15 to $0.23 per hour, with $0.23 being the most common.
This cost is based on the average unit rate for electricity in the US (i.e. $0.15) and results from this electric fireplace energy efficiency study.
So that’s the hourly expense, but how much does it cost to run an electric fireplace for a month?
How much does it cost to run an electric fireplace per month?
On average, electric fireplaces cost $32.50 to run per month.
This assumes $0.15 per kWh and 5 hours of use per day for 30 days, on max power.
Introducing an electric fire to a household will increase monthly electric bills by 28.3%, on average.
The average US monthly electricity bill is $115, so a $32.50 increase is substantial (this increase assumes that an electric fireplace is not replacing a different mode of heating). However, electric fireplaces with the most common power consumption will increase bills even more.
Electric fireplaces with the most common power consumption will increase your monthly electricity bill by 29.3% (i.e. $33.75).
Overall, modern electric fireplaces will increase your monthly electricity bills by between $22.50 to $33.75.
Now that we’ve looked at the hourly and monthly running costs, let’s summarize the results from the study and include weekly cost estimates.
Cost to run an electric fireplace data summary
The following table lists the cost to run electric fireplaces with average (i.e. 1.44 kWh), the most common (i.e. 1.5 kWh), highest (i.e. 1.5 kWh) and lowest (i.e. 1 kWh) power consumption per hour, week and month.
|Category||Cost per hour||Cost per week (at 5hrs/day)||Cost per month (5hrs/day for 30 days)|
Per week, assuming max power is used for 5 hours per day, it costs $7.58 to run an electric fireplace on average.
The cost to run an electric fireplace with the most common electricity draw is $7.88 per week.
It costs between $5.25 to $7.88 per week to run modern household electric fireplaces.
But what if you have an old electric fireplace?
Cost to run an old electric fireplace
In a previous post I tested the power consumption of an old electric fireplace.
The cost to run an old electric fireplace per hour is:
- Off: $0;
- Lights / flame On: $0.019;
- Low heat (with light): $0.16; and
- High heat (with light): $0.30.
See the power consumption details along with the most energy efficient electric fireplace, here.
This electric fireplace and older models, in general, are more expensive to run compared to their modern counterparts. But overall, are electric fireplace places expensive to run? Let’s take a look.
Are electric fireplaces expensive to run?
Yes, electric fireplaces are expensive to run.
They’re considered energy guzzlers, like the vast majority of all household appliances that deliver considerable heat.
Electric fireplaces increase monthly electricity bills, in the US, by between 19.6% and 29.3%.
This is obviously a substantial amount, and it really depends on the level of usage. Using an electric fireplace less will result in a lower increase in elecrticity bills.
For context, let’s compare the monthly electric fireplace running expense with other household appliances.
The average monthly expense to run an electric fireplace (i.e. $32.50) is equivalent to:
- The cost of charging a standard electric car 5.8 times (or driving it 812.5 miles);
- The cost of boiling an electric kettle 3,611 times; and
- The cost of watching a 65 inch TV for 2,288.7 hours.
So electric fireplaces are expensive to run.
But are your running costs expensive? Use the following electric fireplace electricity cost calculator to work out the cost to run your appliance.
Electric fireplace electricity cost calculator
To work out the cost to run your (or any) electric fireplace at max power, simply complete the fields below.
This electricity cost calculator is pre-populated with the average US unit rate and the most common electric fireplace power consumption.
So now that we have a good sense of the cost to run electric fireplaces, let’s take a look at how the running costs compare with other electric heaters.
Cost to run an electric fireplace vs other electric heaters
As identified in the electric fireplace energy efficiency study, different types of electric heaters consume different amounts of energy.
As a result their running costs will vary too.
The table below compares the cost to run typical electric heaters per hour, week and month.
|Electric heater type||Cost per hour||Cost per week (at 5hrs/day)||Cost per month (5hrs/day for 30 days)|
|Space heater / fan heater||$0.23||$7.88||$33.75|
|Towel warmer rack||$0.02||$0.79||$3.38|
Electric storage heaters are the most expensive electric heater to run, followed by electric radiators. Electric fireplaces and space heaters / fan heaters take third spot, followed by infrared heaters and, finally, towel warmer racks.
Related: Heat Pump With The Highest HSPF Revealed [2,126 Units Studied].
As mentioned in a previous post, there is quite a lot of overlap between the electric heater type categories noted above. But it’s a useful comparison nonetheless, as it gives a good sense of average running costs, which may help with choosing appropriate electric heaters for different circumstances.
Reduce the cost of running an electric fireplace – 8 useful tips
As we know, electric fireplaces are expensive to run, so let’s look at ways that you can reduce your running costs.
Here are 8 easy to implement cost saving tips (most have the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint too):
- Lower the temperature. As you can see above, the test identifying the cost to run an old electric fireplace shows that it can cost half the price to run an electric fireplace at a low temperature setting compared to a high temperature setting. Most electric fireplaces have multiple heat settings, so if it’s comfortable, consider lowering your heat setting to reduce your running costs;
- Use the thermostat (if available). To help control room temperature and reduce electricity wastage, use a thermostat. Many modern electric fireplaces come with a built-in thermostat. If it’s available, try it out;
- Use a ceiling fan / add circulation. Running a ceiling fan in a clockwise direction, along with running an electric fireplace, helps move warm air throughout a room. Increasing heat circulation helps make electric fireplaces more effective, and as a result, more efficient at heating a room. In case you’re wondering, fans don’t use much electricity – see fan wattage and running costs, here;
- Turn off or dim the lights / flame. This can be effective at reducing your running costs, particularly for older electric fireplaces. Modern electric fireplaces use LEDs for their lights / flame, which are efficient. But they still consume electricity. Consider turning down the brightness of your electric fireplace – this an increasingly common feature in modern electric fireplaces;
- Seal drafts. You can save 15% on heating / cooling by sealing drafts and insulating your home, according to The Environmental Protection Agency. Consider investing in window and door draft excluder products, so you can reduce your electric fireplace usage and/or heat setting. You will likely save more money in the long term;
- Consider upgrading to a more efficient model. See the most efficient electric fireplaces, here. Modern electric fireplaces are more efficient compared to older models. They also have many features that can give you more control of your appliance. More control means that you can reduce electricity wastage and, therefore, reduce your electricity bills;
- Use it less. This is clearly the most effective way to reduce your running costs. Be sure to turn your electric fireplace off when you leave the room and consider adding an extra layer of clothes to help reduce usage and your running costs. If you have no interest in changing your behavior to reduce running costs, this next tip will be useful; and
- Switch electricity provider. Utility providers often offer considerable discounts to entice new customers. Consider shopping around for a better deal. This will not just reduce the running cost of your electric fireplace, but it’ll reduce the cost of running all of your appliances.
If you do manage to reduce your running costs, why not consider using the savings to offset the price of Green electricity plans? This will reduce your carbon footprint considerably.
Electric heaters are expensive to run. Some are more expensive than others.
Modern electric fireplaces, particularly the most efficient electric fireplaces, are less expensive to run compared to older models.
But even modern fireplaces increase monthly electricity bills considerably.
I hope that, by using the 8 energy saving tips above, you reduce your running costs along with your carbon footprint.
For more details about the running costs of electric heaters, check out Electric Heater Cost To Run [With 7 Cost Saving Tips].
Also, you might be interested in the power consumption of 117 electric fireplaces, here.
See the most efficient wall AC unit, energy efficient wall air conditioners by room size, & get insights into wall AC wattage, amperage, running costs & BTU. Plus, see how wall & window ACs compare.
Choosing to go with a window or portable air conditioner is simple, when you have the data. Window vs portable AC – which is best? Find out here, based on data from comprehensive studies.
How much does it cost to run a portable air conditioner? Find out here. Also, get running costs of the lowest wattage & most efficient units. Plus, use this calculator to see your own specific costs.
James, Eco Cost Savings co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, is also our experienced in-house energy management and sustainability expert, and manager of our network of sustainability consultants.
Before his journey into sustainability, James studied engineering. Additionally, he has experience in HVAC installation, and data analysis. A self-proclaimed practical environmentalist, and avid penny pincher, James established Eco Cost Savings to share his and his colleague’s expertise with the aim of helping to reduce energy bills and carbon footprints at scale.