Although electric heat from a fireplace is 100% efficient, it is worth noting that much of our electricity is supplied from generation sources such as hydro, coal, gas, or oil.
Most of this electricity production turns about 1/3 of the fuel’s energy potential into electricity. Because of the generation and transportation losses in transmission lines, electric heat is often more expensive than heat produced from wood, gas, or oil combustion appliances.
The heating element in an electric fireplace is often 1500 watts. That’s about 7675 BTUs of heat. If operated for 10 hours a day and at 15ȼ/kWh, the cost would be approximately $2.35/day to use an electric fireplace with the heat on.
However, suppose you turn the heat off and only enjoy the light show; in that case, your cost drops to about 7ȼ/day, which is the cost to operate a small motor or LED lights.