How to figure how much an electric water heater costs to run

Written by elizabeth knoll
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to figure how much an electric water heater costs to run
Knowing how much your electric hot water heater costs to run helps you manage your utility usage more efficiently. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The cost of an electric water heater can vary significantly. Some factors to take into consideration when figuring out the cost to operate are both the size of the water heater and the cost of electricity in your area. Most locations bill electricity by the kilowatt hour. A kilowatt is 1,000 watts. For example, if your rate is 12 cents per kilowatt hour, that means you are charged 12 cents each hour for every 1,000 watts of power you consume. By looking at your water heater's information plate and making a few calculations, you can determine approximately how much your water heater will cost to run.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Calculator

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Locate the label on the side of your water heater that contains all its technical data like model number, serial number and other information. This label should list how many watts your water heater consumes per hour.

  2. 2

    Convert the watts listed to kilowatts by dividing the number by 1,000. For example, if your water heater consumes 5,500 watts, converting it to kilowatts yields 5 1/2.

  3. 3

    Calculate how much your water heater costs to run each day. An average water heater runs for a total of three hours per day. Let's say your cost is 12 cents per kilowatt hour. If your water heater consumes 5 1/2 kilowatts per hour, it costs 66 cents per hour to operate. Multiply that by three and you wind up with a daily cost of £1.20.

  4. 4

    Multiply the daily cost by the number of days in the month and you will end up with how much it costs to operate your water heater each month.

Tips and warnings

  • The figures cited are estimates based on people's average water consumption.
  • Another factor to consider is the temperature at which your keep your water heater. If you like really hot water, your cost will go up. The opposite is true for cooler water. Adjust your water heater's thermostat as necessary to bring your electricity cost in line.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.