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How much does an electric fireplace cost to run?

How much does an electric fireplace cost to run?

Work out how much it will cost to run your electric fireplace

If you’re thinking of buying an electric fireplace and want to calculate the running costs, this is very easy to do. Using the information in this article you’ll be able to work out exactly how much an electric fireplace will add to your electricity bill.

Electric fireplaces have an unfair reputation for being expensive to run. Not only are they more cost-effective than you might expect, they’re also perhaps the most transparent of all heating appliances when it comes to running costs.

How to calculate electric fireplace running costs

Working out how much running your electric fireplace will cost depends on how you want to use the fire. For example, do you plan to use the electric heater regularly or are you most interested in using the flame effect to create a cosy atmosphere?

No matter how you choose to use your electric fireplace, it's easy to work out how much it will cost to run. Let's explore all of the options.

Calculating how much an electric fire costs to run

To calculate the cost of running your electric fireplace's heater you will just need your most recent electricity bill and details of the appliance for which you want to know the running costs.

Electricity bill

Your electricity bill — either a paper bill or one you access via your electricity supplier’s website or app — will tell you how much you’re paying for electricity. 

This is detailed as a unit price or unit rate. It’s the amount your electricity supplier charges you per kilowatt hour (kWh). In other words, the amount of electricity needed to run a 1,000-watt (1 kW) appliance for an hour.


All electric fireplaces  — and all other electrical appliances — have a power rating in kilowatts (kW). This is also called the heat output. It is the amount of electricity the fire will need to operate for an hour. 

The heat output varies between different electric fires but is typically around 1.4kW to 1.6kW.

Calculating electric fire flames running costs

For most households, the feature of an electric fireplace that will get most use is the flame effect. On modern electric fires, the flame effects are created by highly efficient LED lighting. Many fires have a flame-only setting so you can use the lights independently of the heater.

The running costs for electric fire flame effects are minuscule. All of the LED lights inside an electric fireplace might have a combined power rating of as little as 10 watts. Even in larger fires, the total power rating of all the LEDs is likely to be less than 30 watts.

If you want to work out the exact running costs of the flame effect, you can use this formula:

Electricity unit price (£) x LED lighting power rating (kW) x number of hours in use = flame-only running costs

So typical running costs for one hour could be:

0.29 x 0.01 x 1 = £0.0029

You could have the flame effect running all day and it would cost less than 7p. 

In fact, you could have it running six hours a day for a full month and it would still only cost around 50p.

Calculating electric heater running costs

Working out how much an electric fireplace heater will cost to run is also a very simple calculation.

Electricity unit price (£) x electric fireplace heat output (kW) x number of hours in use = electric fireplace running costs

For example, if your electricity bill shows you’re currently paying 29p per kWh, your electric fire has a 1.4kW heat output and you want to use it for one hour in an evening, your running costs will be:

0.29 x 1.4 x 1 = 0.40

So, 40p to use your heater for an hour.

Example electric fireplace running costs

To give you a real world example of how much it costs to run an electric fireplace, let's take one of the electric fires we sell as an example. The Ezee Glow 50" Celestial Built-In Media Wall Electric Fire is one of our best-selling electric fires and hugely popular for media wall builds.

This fire comes with two heat output settings (1.4kW and 1.6kW), which offers extra flexibility.

For the purpose of this example, we're using an electricity unit price of 29p per kWh, which is the typical unit price at the time of writing.

Ezee Glow 50" Celestial Running Costs
 Fire setting Cost per hour
Standby £0.000116
Flame-only £0.00609
H1 (1.4kW) £0.21
H2 (1.6kW) £0.40


So, having the flame effect running all day with a one-hour blast of warmth in the evening would cost less than 41p per day.

Comparing electric fire running costs to other appliances

If we stick with the same unit price and power rating that we used above, using an electric fire for an hour will cost 40p.

By comparison:

  • Using an electric oven for an hour costs around 86p
  • Using a dishwasher for an hour costs around 51p
  • Using a tumble dryer for an hour costs around 72p

Finding the cheapest electric fireplace to run

The cheapest electric fireplace to run will be the one with the lowest heat output since it will always consume less electricity when in operation for the same length of time as a fireplace with a larger heat output.

But this could be a false economy if you end up using the less powerful electric fireplace for longer periods.

Equally, the running costs don’t vary dramatically between a 1.2kW electric fireplace and a 1.6kW electric fireplace, so it’s probably better to choose the fire you really want or — for most cost-effectiveness — choose a fireplace with a competitive retail price.

Ready to find your electric fireplace?

You’ll find a wide range of well-priced media wall electric fires, built-in electric fires and electric fireplace suites in our store. Take a look at all our electric fires to find the right one for your home.

Next article Great deals on 4 kW multi-fuel stoves

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