There are basically four systems currently available on the market specifically designed to heat a roof edge; (1) HotEdge Rail, (2) extruded metal designs, and (3) mesh mats, and (4) zig zag heat tape. It is a common practice to attempt and heat the roof edge with a zig-zag pattern using ‘heat tape” or ice melt cable only to learn it is not architecturally pleasing, not energy efficient, and largely ineffective. Using zig zag heat tape, snow-melt typically refreezes between the zig and the zag and large ice balls and icicles form.

Conserving energy is more and more important for a growing list of reasons. It is vital to understand that 3 of the 4 systems designed to heat a roof edge are in fact effective. What separates them is the overall material & installation cost and the operating cost (energy consumed for a system to perform optimally). Simply stated, the more ice melt cable or “heat tape” or mesh pads required for a system to operate optimally, more energy must be consumed, hence, monthly energy bills are a direct correlation of the linear feet of heat tape needed to power a system.

The energy savings calculator worksheet provided below will help to better understand relative energy costs associated with each roof edge ice melt systems.

Enter details about your expected daily use and local costs for KWH below to determine approximately how much a HotEdge Rail system costs compared to alternative systems. Please know, if you live in a region where snowpack is on your roof throughout the winter season, we recommend that you power a system 24/7 throughout the winter season.
# Linear feet of eave
Daily running time (hours)
Cost in cents per KWH Look up your state's average cost per KWH
Approx. $/hour* Approx. $/day*
HotEdge Rail (only needs one heat tape run**)    
Extruded Metal System (two heat tape run)    
Extruded Metal System (three heat tape run)    
Zig-Zag "Heat Tape" Pattern (assumes 4 ft of cable needed per linear foot of eave or overhang)    
Mesh Mat    

* Energy savings calculations are only estimates and based on the wattage and/or linear feet of heat tape needed to make a system effective. Actual energy costs realized will be dependant on many environmental factors in your region and system installation.

** The HotEdge Rail design relies on a direct (making it the most efficient transfer of heat design on the market, hence, one 12W self-regulating heat tape cable is needed to operate optimally compared with other systems they need more linear feet of heat tape to perform optimally.)

All of us at HotEdge hope these approximations are useful to you. We are both affordable and effective. Our  energy efficient systems are a perfect match for  your  residential, industrial, or commercial building with a heavy roof edge ice problem.

To check energy prices throughout the united states plus propietary index  :

If you have any questions about the information on this page please write to: