Engine Heaters and Your Electric Bill
Truck and tractors often have engine block heaters installed to help start the engines in cold weather. These heaters are often a necessity to get your vehicle going in frigid temperatures, but they can also add a wallop to your electric bill. Typical block heaters can use 600 to 1,000 watts of electricity, and usually don't have any type of thermostat control. So, when you plug in your heater, you're drawing a continuous flow of energy that may equal the light bulbs in your whole house! If used 6 hours a day (during off-peak hours) a heater can add up to 150 kilowatt hours a month, costing around $17 on your bill. If you need an engine heater, install a timer to start warming the engine an hour before you plan to drive it. If possible, stay completely out of the on-peak hours (7-8 AM and 4-8 PM, Monday through Friday) to avoid on-peak demand charges. That will save energy and help keep your electric bill under control.