engine block heater power consumption

If you are planning to buy a new engine block heater or wondering how much electricity your existing block heater is consuming then this article is for you. In this article, we will calculate the power consumption of an engine block heater and also look at how much it costs to use one.

Engine block heaters are normally rated between 50 watts to 1500 watts. A 1500 watt block heater running for 4 hours in a day will consume around 6 kWh of electricity in a day. This adds up to around 180 kWh of electricity in a month.

This would roughly translate to a monthly electricity cost of $ 29.16 in the US, £ 64.80 in the UK, and C$ 28 in Canada.


Engine Block Heater Power Consumption:

The power consumption of a block heater (for that matter any electrical appliance) depends upon two main things,

  1. First is the wattage of your block heater,
  2. And second is the electricity tariff in your area.

Before we jump into calculating the power consumption of your block heater let’s see what these terms are and how you can find out your engine block heater’s wattage and the electricity tariff of your locality.

If you already know these terms and just want to use the calculator then please scroll down to use the calculator.


What is the Wattage of an Engine Block Heater:

There are mainly two types of block heaters available in the market, first is an engine block heater which heats the coolant, and as coolant surrounds the engine block, it in turn heats the engine.

And the second one is the oil pan heater that heats the engine oil.

Generally, engine oil pan heaters are rated between 50 watts to 500 watts and engine block heaters are rated between 300 watts to 1500 watts.

You can find the wattage of your block heater by reading the label on it or just look for your block heater on amazon and you will find its wattage in the description section.

(If you don’t have time to do this, then don’t worry I have put together a table at the end that shows the power consumption of a range of block heaters with different wattages.)

If you don’t know what a watt is then here is a quick explanation,

Watt is the unit of power. It means the rate at which electricity is consumed or produced by a device. For example, a 50-watt TV consumes power at a rate of 50 watts per hour, it does not mean that the TV consumed 50 units of electricity, it means it will consume power at a rate of 50 watts every hour.

So in short, the wattage of an engine block heater lies between 50 watts to 1500 watts and you can find it by looking at the label on it. With that out of the way, let’s look at what is electricity tariff.


What is your Electricity Tariff:

In simple words, electricity tariff is the amount your electricity provider charges you for one unit (kWh) of electricity. I live in Mumbai, India here the electricity tariff is Rs 12/kWh.

(What is a Kilowatt hour (kWh) Kilowatt hours or units of electricity is the energy consumption of a device. For example, a 50-watt table fan running for 50 hours will consume 50 watts x 50 hours = 2500-watt hours = 2.5-kilowatt hours of electricity = 2.5 units of electricity. (1 kWh of electricity = 1 unit of electricity))

To find your electricity tariff, just look into your previous month’s electricity bill and find out your monthly electricity consumption, then just divide your monthly electricity consumption by your total monthly electricity bill, the figure you get is approximately your electricity tariff.

I have put together the following table that shows the electricity tariff of a few countries.

Electricity Tariff Around The World:

CountryElectricity TariffCountryElectricity Tariff
United States$ 0.154/kWhIndiaRs 6/kWh
United Kingdom£‎ 0.27/kWhGermany€ 0.44/kWh
CanadaC$ 0.30/kWhPhilippines₱ 9.70/kWh
AustraliaA$ 0.32/kWhSouth AfricaR 2.558/kWh

You can also check out the following resources to know your electricity tariff:


Calculate Block Heater Power Consumption:

With these two pieces of information in hand, you are ready to find the power consumption of your block heater.

Let me show you an example,

engine-block-heater-rated-power
Engine Block Heater – 400 Watts

I have selected a 400 Watts block heater listed on amazon.

Let’s assume we will use this block heater every night for 4 hours every day for the entire month.

Hence, we will calculate the daily, monthly, and annual power consumption of this 400 watts block heater.

With the knowledge of your block heater wattage and your electricity tariff, just use this simple formula to calculate power consumption.

Power consumption of an appliance = Wattage of the appliance X operational hours

Cost to run an appliance = Power consumption of the appliance X electricity tariff

(Operational hours is basically the number of hours you are using your block heater)

Now let’s calculate,


How Much Power Does A Block Heater Consume:

In our case, wattage is 400 watts and operational hours are 4 hours in a day, 120 hours in a month, and 1,460 hours in a year.

Hence by using the above formula.

Power consumption of a 400 watts block heater in a day (4 hours) = 400 watts X 4 hours = 1.6 kWh

Similarly, Power consumption of a 400 Watts block heater in a month (4 hours/day @ 30days) = 400 watts X 120 = 48 kWh

And Power consumption of 400 watts block heater in a year (4 hours/day @ 365 days) = 400 watts X 1460 = 584 kWh

Now that we know the power consumption just multiply it by your electricity tariff and you will get how much it will cost you to run your block heater.

let’s calculate how much it will cost to run this 400 watts block heater for 4 hours every day for an entire month in USA, UK, and Canada.

  • In the US, the avg. electricity tariff is around 16.20 cents per kWh, hence it will cost around $ 7.78 (48 kWh X 16.20 cents) to run this 1500 watts block heater for 4 hours every day for an entire month in the US.
  • In the UK, the avg. electricity tariff is around 36 pence per kWh, hence it will cost around £ 17.28 (48 kWh X 36p/kWh) to run this 1500 watts block heater for 4 hours every day for an entire month in the UK.
  • In Canada, the avg. electricity tariff is around C$ 0.156 per kWh, hence it will cost around C$ 7.48 (48 kWh X C$ 0.156/kWh) to run this 1500 watts block heater for 4 hours every day for an entire month in Canada.

How Much Does it Cost To Run A Block Heater:

For your reference, I have calculated the cost to run this 400 watts block heater for 4 hours daily throughout the entire month in the US, the UK, and Canada.

Country (Tariff)Daily Power Consumption of an Engine Block HeaterMonthly Power Consumption of an Engine Block Heater
USA (16.20 c/kWh)1.6 kWh, $ 1.5448 kWh, $ 20.64
UK (36p/kWh)1.6 kWh, £ 2.1648 kWh, £ 64.80
Canada (C$ 0.156/kWh)1.6 kWh, C$ 0.9448 kWh, C$ 28.08

If your country is not on the table, then just note down the power consumption and multiply your electricity tariff to get the running cost.

The above figures show the maximum power consumption of a 1500 watts block heater, however, the actual power consumption can be 10 % – 20 % on the lower side.

Also, most of us use the block heater only during winter which lasts for 2-3 months in most places. Hence, your annual power consumption will be much less.


Electricity consumption Of different Wattage Engine Block Heaters:

For your reference, I have made the below table that shows the power consumption of a range of block heaters of different wattages. I have assumed 4 hours of daily operation for an entire month.

Engine Block
Heater Wattage
Daily Power Consumption
(4 Hours)
Monthly Power Consumption (120 Hours)
75 watts0.3 kWh9 kWh
150 watts0.6 kWh18 kWh
500 watts2 kWh60 kWh
750 watts3 kWh90 kWh
1200 watts4.8 kWh144 kWh
1500 watts6 kWh180 kWh

As I said before, you can use the power consumption values from the above table and multiply it by your local electricity tariff to get the running cost.

Now go ahead and use the below calculator to find out the power consumption of your block heater.

Just type the wattage of your block heater, hours of usage, and your electricity tariff, and let the calculator do the math for you.


Engine Block Heater power consumption calculator:

If you are not happy with the approximate results and you want to know the exact power consumption, then I would suggest you buy a cheap Kill-A-Watt Meter from amazon.


Calculate the exact power consumption of any Heater using Kill A Watt Meter:

Kill A Watt Meter is a simple device that gives real-time data on the power consumption of any device.

You can check it on amazon using this link – Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor

To use a kill-a-watt meter to calculate the power consumption of your block heater, first, connect your block heater plug into the kill-a-watt meter and then plug the kill-a-watt meter in your wall socket and you are good to go.

Then start using your block heater and you can see in real-time how many kWh (units) of electricity it is consuming.

You can check out these articles to know more about the power consumption of space heaters, and the power consumption of garage heaters.

Check out the following articles to know the power consumption of other appliances:

You can check out this article to know more about the power consumption of common household appliances.

Check out my articles on solar power for home and how it can help you save your electricity bill.

Thank you for reading.

Aavjo 👋


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