Unfortunately running an Electric Heater of any description in the UK is going to work out extremely expensive, costing around three times as much as Mains Gas central heating and even twice the comparable cost of oil and LPG heating. However in some rural areas and for those who are in rented accommodation it often remains the only option.
Lets just clear up one myth, there is no such thing as a cheap to run or ‘economical’ Electric Heater, any heater will produce exactly as much usable heat as it states on its rating plate. So a 2kw heater will produce 2kw worth of heat, whether its a £8.99 2kw fan heater from Ebay or one of the £600 2kw ‘miracle’ radiators – both of these examples will produce 2kw of heat for your 2kw worth of Electricity because both are 100% efficient. There is no smoke and mirrors, the only difference is in the cost of the physical heater, but once purchased both 2kw heater examples, will cost the same amount to run, and produce the same amount of heat
So lets give some actual examples of how much it costs to run various heaters of different ratings per hour. I am using an Electricity cost of 12p per unit (Kw/h) in my calculations below which is the average current UK cost of Electricity as of Nov 2013.
100 Watt Electric Blanket – 1.2p per hour
200 Watt Panel Heater – 2.4p per hour
350 Watt Panel Heater – 4.2p per hour
400 Watt Halogen Heater – 4p per hour
500 Watt Panel Heater – 6p per hour
600 Watt Panel Heater – 7.2p per hour
800 Watt Halogen Heater – 8p per hour
1200 Watt Halogen Heater – 14.4p per hour
750 Watt Convector Heater – 9p per hour
1000 Watt (1kw) Convector Heater – 12p per hour
1500 Watt (1.5kw) Convector Heater – 18p per hour
1800 Watt (1.8kw) Convector Heater – 21.6p per hour
2000 Watt (2kw) Convector Heater – 24p per hour
2400 Watt (2.4kw) Convector Heater – 28.8p per hour
2500 Watt (2.5kw) Convector Heater – 30p per hour
3000 Watt (3kw) Convector Heater – 36p per hour
4000 Watt (4kw) Convector Heater – 48p per hour
11,000 Watt (11kw) Heat Pump / Boiler – £1.32 per hour
Although I have used the description of Panel Heater, Convector Heater and Halogen Heater in the above running cost calculations, the cost of running other heaters of the same wattage will be exactly the same, regardless of the type of heater.