Skip to main navigation.

Avoid shocking your energy budget with wise use of electric space heaters

Space heater sitting on floor near wall As cold weather chills your home or buildings, you might be using electric space heaters to supplement your heating. This could result in an unexpected increase in your electric bill. For example, with an electric rate of 9.95 cents ($0.0995) per kWh, using a 1,500-watt space heater for an hour would cost 15 cents. Using that same heater eight hours a day for a month would add about $36 to a monthly bill.

Space Heater Calculator

Space Heater Calculator buttonTo help estimate how much your monthly bill could increase, click the Space Heater Calculator button. After the space heater calculator screen appears, enter the number of hours per day that the heater is used, the wattage of the heater, and the price of electricity. Enter the price in dollars. For example, 10 cents would be $0.10, and 9.95 cents would be $0.0995. The software displays the approximate cost in dollars to operate the heater per hour, per day, per month (30.4167 days), and per year.

Please note that the space heater calculator link (by will open in a new browser window or tab. Valley Rural Electric Cooperative is not responsible for the content of that page.

Other tips for space heaters of all types

  • Close the doors to rooms or areas that do not need heat from the space heater.
  • When heating only one or two rooms, lower the thermostat setting of your central heating system. There is no point heating areas not being used.
  • If your heater has a thermostat, use the lowest temperature setting that is comfortable for you.
  • Make certain your heater is the right size for the space you are trying to heat.
  • Keep space heaters on a level surface and at least three feet away from flammable items like paper, plastic, fabrics, gasoline, furniture, curtains, and drapes.
  • Do not operate electric space heaters near water.
  • Plug an electric heater directly into an outlet; do not use an extension cord.
  • Keep children and pets away from the heater. Never leave them alone with the heater.
  • Use a space heater that has an automatic shut-off switch that will turn off the heater if it is knocked over.
  • Turn off the space heater when it is not in use, or use one with a timer.
  • Turn off the space heater before you leave the room or go to sleep.

For more space heater safety tips, read the article Space Heaters at

Image courtesy of with modifications by Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Powered by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Logo
Safe Electricity Logo Energy Kids Web Banner Together We Save Banner