How Much Power Is Your Electric Water Heater Using & What's the Cost?

Water heaters are among the highest energy-consuming appliances in your home. Energy star predicts that households spend between $400 and $600 on heating water every year for things like laundry, showers, and washing dishes, making water heaters the second most energy-consuming appliance in your home.

Luckily, there are some easy ways to save on the costs of heating your water. The first step is understanding how much it costs to use your water heater. Our cost calculator below can help you get an estimate on the power consumption and cost of your water heater. Check it out!

Electric water heater energy cost calculator

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How to use this calculator:
How many kilowatts does your water heater use?

Kilowatts measure the rate at which electricity moves through an appliance. More kilowatts mean more electricity, and bigger water heaters will typically use more watts.

The average water heater runs at around 1125 watts, though some more powerful water heaters can use up to 4000 watts. Check out the specs on the back of your water heater to get the most accurate wattage number. You can also calculate kilowatts by multiplying amps and volts and dividing by 1000.

Kilowatts = (Amps x Volts) / 1000

What is the average cost of electricity?

According to US Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity in the U.S. is 13 cents/kWh. However, this number can vary depending on your electricity supplier. Today, people in some states have the power to shop for their electricity and find cheaper rates.

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What is the cost and energy consumption of different electric water heaters?

30-gallon water heater
Watts
Cost / hr*
Cost / month*
3500 W45.5¢$27.3
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the 30-gallon water heater runs for 2 hours per day
40-gallon water heater
Watts
Cost / hr*
Cost / month*
4500 W58.5¢$35.1
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the 40-gallon water heater runs for 2 hours per day
50-gallon water heater
Watts
Cost / hr*
Cost / month*
5500 W71.5¢$42.9
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the 50-gallon water heater runs for 2 hours per day

How to save on your water heater energy costs?

  • 1.

    Upgrade to an ENERGY STAR rated water heater

    ENERGY STAR products are the most efficient appliances on the market. If you're looking to upgrade your water heater, we highly recommend looking for an ENERGY STAR-rated heater. While some may be a bit more expensive, you'll likely save money in the long run by having a much more efficient and cost-effective water heater!
  • 2.

    Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120°

    Most water heaters are set to 140°--and most experts claim that this is higher than it needs to be. 120° is plenty high enough to keep your showers warm and also still kill bacteria in your water heater to keep your water bacteria-free. This is an easy way to reduce how much energy it takes to heat your water.
  • 3.

    Install a low-flow showerhead

    Everyone loves good water pressure. But installing a low-flow showerhead can actually save you a lot of water, which will not only reduce the cost of your utility bill but will also reduce how hard your water heater has to work to warm all that water you're using when you shower. Low-flow showerheads are cheap and easy to install, and we highly recommend them if you're looking to take some serious steps towards lowering your carbon footprint and saving on your electricity costs.
  • 4.

    Cold wash your laundry

    There are tons of advantages to cold washing your laundry. And most experts suggest that you can get your clothes just as clean with cold water. Heating laundry water is one of the most energy-demanding activities you do in your home. So why not save some money--and lower your carbon footprint--by washing on cold.
  • 5.

    Insulate your water heater

    Insulating your water heater can greatly improve your water heater's efficiency. This doesn't have to be a fancy solution because likely, no one is spending much time looking at your water heater. Here's a tutorial on how to create a DIY water heater jacket.
  • 6.

    Choose Perch Energy

    At Perch, we're on a mission to make cleaner energy more accessible, more affordable, and more equitable for all. Whether you rent an apartment, own a home, or run a business, Perch offers multiple ways to save money on your electricity bills, or even help the planet, too.
    • For guaranteed savings on your annual electricity cost, join a community solar project in your area. Perch will help match you to a local solar farm—you'll support the operations of that farm so that it can generate and contribute as much clean, solar energy to the overall grid. You don't directly receive electricity from the solar power you're supporting, but thanks to government incentives, you'll get credits toward your own utility bill. Essentially, you're being rewarded with discounts on your own electricity because you're enabling solar generation and development in your state.
    • With Perch, you can take your fossil-fuel-fighting, money-saving ways even further when you also switch your home or business' electricity plan to cleaner energy. If you're on your utility's default basic service rate, it's a "mixed" energy plan (generated partly by fossil fuels, partly by renewable resources). But Perch can switch you to a low-cost cleaner energy plan—outside of what your utility is offering—that's backed 100% by clean, renewable resources like solar and wind. We'll find you a price that's lower than the market rate for similar options in your area. You don't have to do anything differently, but you'll feel great knowing that your personal electricity usage is now contributing to a healthier planet, and you've reduced your everyday carbon footprint.
Get simple solar savings without the rooftop panels

Lower your electricity bills and help the environment. Let Perch match you to a local solar farm.