Cost of Firing Electric Kiln Calculator
Calculate how much it costs to run an electric kiln based on the kiln's Kilowatt (KW) rating, firing time, and the electric rate. These values are easy to determine - more below!
If you think it costs a plate and a bowl - or a vase and a mug :) - to fire your pottery in an electric kiln, it's just not the case! So how much does it cost to fire a kiln? Just plug in a little information about your kiln (or your studio's), and electrical costs, and the calculator will give you a pretty good idea how much your bisque and glaze firings are costing.
Kiln's Eletrical Power Specifications
To use this calculator, you need to enter either the kiln's Watts, or, if that's not available, its Volts and Amps. Usually this info is on a panel on the side of the kiln. If not, check the manual, or online for the kiln model. If you are in a studio, the person who runs your kiln should have this info.
Watts: Enter the kiln's Watts rating.
Volts and Amps: If Watts is not available, enter both the Volts and the Amps. (Watts= Volts x Amps)
Based on the Watts, or Volts and Amps, you enter, the calculator will convert to KiloWatts by dividing by 1000.
Cost Per Kilowatt (KW) Hour:
Check your electric bill for how much you pay per Kilowatt (KW) Hour. If you run your kiln in a studio - or just want to get a handle on how much your studio is paying to fire its electric kiln - inquire at the studio, which is likely paying commercial KW rates rather than residential KW rates.
As of July 2023, the average residential cost per Kilowatt hour in the US is 15.91 cents, and the average commercial KW rate is 13.11 cents. Find out your state's KW rate per hour at the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Enter the KW rate in cents, including any fractional part (cents.fractional-part) such as 16.12
Kiln Firing Time:
You can calculate the cost of running a bisque kiln, a glaze kiln, or both by filling in both bisque and glaze kiln time.
Time Adjustment Factor:
Use this field to enter the amount of time when your kiln's elements are actually active, since you only pay for that time. This varies per kiln, type of firing (bisque or glaze), firing speed, etc. Enter 100 if you want to see how much it would cost if the kiln was running 100 percent of the time. The kiln maker Skutt, for example, says that on average, across its kilns, 50% power consumption is a good estimate. If you have a different kiln, check its documentation.