Electric cable heating (ECH) system is a promising pavement snow-melting technology. However, the long-term operation of such systems entails considerable energy consumption, and results in energy waste and high economic cost. Relevant studies lack design strategies that simultaneously ensure optimal energy conservation, snow-melting performance, and mechanical performance of ECH systems. Moreover, the long-term performance of this pavement remains to be verified. Therefore, this study investigated comprehensive energy conservation design strategies for ECH systems. The effects of various parameters on an ECH system's snow-melting, energy consumption, and mechanical response were investigated using the finite element method. On the basis of the simulation results, a recommended design strategy was proposed which can conserve energy and ensure the system's snow-melting function and long-term structural safety. With this strategy, an ECH system was designed and constructed. The calculation results demonstrate that this strategy can reduce energy waste significantly while ensuring the snow-melting function. Moreover, in a field experiment, a one-third scale model mobile load simulator was adopted. After continuous loading 400,000 times, the average rutting depths of all test sections were less than 3 mm, which verified the long-term mechanical performance of the ECH system designed using the developed strategy.