How much does it cost to run an oil-filled radiator?

MILLIONS of people using an oil-filled radiator to heat their homes this winter could save money by warming up another way.

As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, we start to wear more layers and dial up the heating in a bid to keep cosy. 

Many people will use an oil radiator in a bid to keep warm. 

You might use this as a more economic solution to heating up your home than turning on the heating. 

These portable, plug-in heaters can be moved around the home so you’re only heating up the room you’re actually in rather than blasting warm air across the whole house.  

But how much does an oil radiator really cost to run, and is it good value for money? 

We break down the costs. 

How much does it cost to run an oil radiator?

Oil radiators use an electrical element to heat up thermal oil inside. 

Of course, heating up the element requires energy and that affects your bills. 

According to Utilita, a standard 2,000 watt oil filled radiator uses around 2 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy for every hour it’s in use.

The equation you use to convert that energy usage into cost is the power (kilowatt) x cost of one kWh (pence) x length of time. 

Currently the cost of one kWh is just over 21p.

That means the oil radiator costs 42p an hour to run.  

If you had the radiator running for six hours that would be £2.52.

And if you did that every day, that’s £17.64 a week and a whopping £917.28 a year. 

Of course, you’re not likely to be using your radiator through the summer months, so most households won’t have to fork out nearly so much.

But the hourly cost of using the radiator is enough to give pause for thought. 

Utilita calculates that using a fan heater instead would cost 37p an hour.
At six hours a day that would be £15.54 a week. 

Meanwhile, you could snuggle up under an electric blanket for a cost of only around 1p an hour.

For eco-warriers, the oil filled radiator could also be problematic. 

Utilita says it used up around 0.5826kg in CO2 emissions per hour – the equivalent to driving 2.11 miles.

For comparison, the emissions produced by an electric blanket for an hour would be the equivalent to driving 0.05 miles – that’s about 80 metres. 

What can I do to keep energy bills down?

The cost of energy is high on many people’s minds at the moment as a number of providers have collapsed and bills are soaring.

The cost of wholesale fuel has rocketed due to high post-pandemic demand and low supply, and that is being passed on to consumers. 

The energy price cap recently increased adding an average of £139 to household bills – and further increases are expected to come. 

We have investigated the seven worst appliances to leave on standby, that could be adding hundreds to your bills.

We've also looked into how to save energy in every room of your home.

Elsewhere, we have calculated how much it costs to run an electric blanket, if you’re looking for ways to stay cosy this winter. 

Or if you want some toasty clothes to put on, we’ve calculated the cost of running a heated clothes airer. 

If you’d prefer a warming winter meal, here’s how much it costs to run a slow cooker.

Or if you’re already thinking ahead to sunnier times, you might be wondering how much it costs to run a hot tub. 

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