What’s cheaper, electric heater, central heating, or electric blanket?


ouseholds are going to be hit with a “winter like never before” this year, with the cost-of-living crisis and rising energy costs, the boss of the UK’s third-biggest energy company warned on Thursday.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder of Ovo Energy, said that people will go hungry and cold unless the Government acts swiftly, as millions of families are set to see their energy bills rocket from £1,971 to £3,549 in October.

Warning of a grim winter ahead, Mr Fitzpatrick said: “If we don’t use every available moment over the next 12 weeks to solve this, we are going to see a winter like never before, with people going hungry and going cold and the NHS being overwhelmed by the health impacts of the energy crisis.”

But how can customers cut their living costs and energy bill outgoings? One way of doing so is to be smart about how you heat your home.

Here’s everything you need to know about the cost of running an electric blanket, an electric heater, or central heating, and which works out cheaper.

How much does an electric blanket cost?

According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average price per pence/kWh of electricity is approximately 20p. So, a 100W electric blanket at 20p per kWh above would cost slightly more than 2p to run at full power for an hour, reports

So, if you leave it on for two hours before bed – that’s around 4p – and, if you were to leave it on all night for seven hours, that would amount to a few pence, approximately 16p.

Earlier this week, money-saving expert Martin Lewis shared a guide to help “heat the human not the home” amid the energy-cap rise, and he revealed that an electric blanket (costing £14) costs 3p an hour to run, which equals £1.37 per week if used for seven hours a day.

If we then calculate this cost over a month, the cost is approximately £5.48 per month.

How much does an electric heater cost?

According to Uswitch, a plug-in electric heater uses around 3-kilowatt hours of energy (kWh), reports The Sun.

On average in 2021, energy cost 21.2p per kWh, therefore, it would cost approximately 63.6p per hour to run an electric heater.

If we use these calculations, if you left your heater on for an evening while watching TV for say, four hours, it would cost £2.54, and if you did that every day for a week, it would cost £17.78.

If we take this on a monthly average, this adds up to an expensive £71.12 per month.

How much does central heating cost?

From October 2022, energy bills are set to soar once more, with another hike in January 2023, as the result of Ofgem’s energy-price cap going up again and again.

According to research by Energy Helpline, keeping your radiators on for nine hours a day costs £10.8 and, over the course of a week, that would amount to £75.60 per week, and a whopping £335 per month.

The calculations also assume the central heating has been left on for nine hours, with one hour of heating costing up to £1.20.

Which is cheaper, an electric blanket, an electric heater, or central heating?

Overall, it’s cheaper to run an electric blanket per month, however, this doesn’t take into consideration the costs of keeping the radiators on overnight, or using an electric heater all day.

It’s best to consult your energy tariffs, and to get advice on how to cut down the amount of time you use your heating applicances.

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