What Does It Cost To Run A Fence Charger?

penniesOver the years, many people have asked me, “How much is it going to cost to run my electric fence charger?” I usually respond with “pennies-per-month,” but this is pretty easy to compute yourself.

The two things you will need to know are how many watts your particular charger pulls and the kilowatt charge from your particular electric utility company. For this example, let’s assume that you have a standard mains unit that plugs into a standard 110-volt outlet.

The basic equation is watts x time / 1,000 = kWh.

Watts = the watts-per-hour consumed by the electric fence charger during operation. This is probably not printed on the cover of the charger, but it is usually on the box or the instruction manual that comes with it. If you don’t have the box or manual, then call the manufacturer, and they should be able to tell you. Watts can also be calculated if you know how many amps are used by the charger.  Watts=amps x volts.

Time = the amount of time the charger is operated. This should be calculated into hours-per-day and then days-per-month. You will normally be running your charger on a continuous basis, and the utility company billing period is normally 30 days.

1,000 =
 dividing by the number 1,000 places the total into kilowatt-hours, which is what most utility companies use as the rate of consumption.


The power consumption of most chargers for agricultural/livestock control purposes will range from 10 watts up to 50 watts. The very largest chargers will pull a maximum of 50 watts. Operating a 10-watt charger continuously for 24 hours-per-day for 30 days at a utility company rate of 10 cents-per-kilowatt-hour will equal:powervsmoneycharger_2015

(10 watts x 24 hours-per-day x 30 days) / 1,000 = 7.2 kilowatt-hours (kWh)

7.2 kWh x 10 cents = 72 cents

So the cost of operating a 10-watt charger for 30 days at this rate is $0.72, or a whopping $8.64 per year. Now you know how much your electric fencing system costs to run. Pretty cheap, huh?

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