Electric Kiln: Actual Energy Consumption

admin | Kilns | Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Ever wonder how much it really costs to fire your electric kiln?

Follow these links:

L&L JD230HD Kiln (@7cu.ft.)

L&L JD18-JH Kiln(@3cu.ft.)


  1. Jesse,
    This is great information and much less expensive than I thought! I have tried to figure this out many times on my own…but nothing like this. I would be interested to learn more. Now that you have a close idea how much electricity you are using, you can factor in the cost of the elements, materials and time. Extremely helpful!

    Comment by Sherry Pence — February 4, 2008 @ 3:18 pm

  2. Thanks Sherry,

    After seeing how inexpensive it actually is, do you think you’d ever want to try firing a bit hotter than ^5-6, just to see what you get?
    Maybe after you get back from Korea though, huh?…


    Comment by Jesse Hull — February 4, 2008 @ 7:16 pm

  3. You are right! When I get back I will have to finally take the plunge and go cone 10 and higher!

    Comment by Sherry Pence — February 5, 2008 @ 4:51 pm

  4. I am new to the field and attempting to make electrically conductive ceramics, so I need to build my own test kiln. Your site has given me real (i.e. numerical) information on kiln construction.


    Comment by Dean Styles — February 18, 2008 @ 8:19 am

  5. In keeping in the “green” type of mindset, I have been asking around about how we can curb our hunger for energy. I feel all potters should be an innovative and positive force of change in this movement.
    ::steps off soapbox::
    Currently I have heard some interesting facts concerning the Price of electricity from a brilliant and humble man, Freddy Fredrickson . Could you elaborate about the difference between “off-peak” and “Peak demand” pricing? And about what are the pros and cons of each?

    PS: Alfred just received government money to research microwave kilns. I’ve heard whispers of only using 1/10 of the energy, temperature measured on the pot, and extremely fast firings. keep your ear on that.

    Comment by Mark Cousino — February 28, 2008 @ 8:47 pm

  6. Fredrickson’s level of experience is certainly something I aspire toward. I remember my University Professor being super charged when the school got one of his electric kilns. -And Del Regno’s ideas to overcome the hurdles with using microwaves to heat ceramic sounds like genius.
    Not discounting the positive environmental impact, I actually look forward to seeing what effects it could produce in terms of the glaze –it has to be different.
    I’m also curious how they plan to get around the limits of: “microwave for 1 minute, stir, then microwave again”. Maybe I should hold on to my fire resistant RAKU jacket, eh? -sorry, just joking ;)

    In terms of the electrical consumption (off-peak/peak) of my kiln above –as soon as I’ve taken enough measurements, I’ll be sitting down with a rep from the local power company to hash all that out. It may change the way I choose to fire, be billed, or both.
    Of course, that info will be posted here as well…


    Comment by Jesse Hull — March 2, 2008 @ 10:20 am

  7. How about using wind turbines &/or solar panels to produce the electricity to fire the kilns, I live in a location with pretty steady wind and lots of sun, I´m looking into how much would the necessary equipment cost to fire a typical paragon VIKING28, to cone 5 or 9 any leads?

    Comment by Raúl Hernández — December 12, 2008 @ 1:30 pm

  8. Raúl,

    I’ve definitely thought about it; however, the cost of the rechargeable batteries required to provide for a continuous feed of electricity were a bit over budget at the time.
    I’m actually looking more toward geothermal (and possible solar later) when it comes time to build my next house. I’d keep my overall home & studio energy consumption down that way, and then still fire my kilns “on the grid”.
    I salute your focus though, and would certainly like to be kept apprised of how things go in this regard.


    Comment by admin — December 13, 2008 @ 7:49 am

  9. Hi Jesse,
    Thanks for your response, I’m thinking more in terms on terms of direct usage of power generated by the turbine (and skip battery storage) to run the kiln, and trying to fire on windy days (very often here), I’ll send you more info as this progresses.


    Comment by Raúl Hernández — December 14, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

  10. Hi again Jesse, I have found out that it is posibble to send your production of electricity into the grid when you’re producing more than consuming and therefore use the utility company as a storage, and then withdraw your power when you fire without raising your bill

    Comment by Raul — June 10, 2009 @ 7:40 am

  11. Hi Jesse,
    We met at Phil’s symposium. I am also surprised at the low cost of firing. My electric bill averages $400 a month but I do have a swimming pool pump that sucks it up. Do you have any thoughts on how my L&L Easy Fire e23t and e28s would compare in size to the Jupiter?

    Comment by ShaJa — November 27, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

  12. Hi Jesse, I’m having energy issues with my landlord and would like to install an inline meter. Is there a part number or a specific name I should use when requesting this from my power company?
    I’m using two electric, 240, single phase, Paragon G24 to fuse and slump glass.

    Comment by Ann Hymel — June 18, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  13. Hey Ann,

    I don’t have that info off hand -sorry. I just called the Energy Comp. and they sent someone out to install the meter right next to my electrical box, and then came and retrieved it on a pre-scheduled date.
    You can also purchase meters online. The digital ones make things simpler. I’ll definitely be installing a permanent one when I build my next studio.

    Comment by admin — June 18, 2011 @ 9:54 am

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