How to light a wall heater

Apparently you turn the black knob to "pilot," push it in for a while, stick a long-handled lighter in the hole, and hope it doesn't explode. 


I'm wondering what the bill will be like. On the one hand, our apartment is tiny, but on the other, it's a pretty old-ass heater and nothing in this building is insulated well.

Update: If the pilot is on but adjusting the thermostat doesn't turn on the burners, rip off the cover and touch the wires together and/or fiddle with the thermoresist.