What is the Average Business Energy Consumption?
Business energy consumption is the amount of energy used by a business during a given period, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The average usage in a UK business is between 15,000 and 25,000 kWh of energy per year, depending on the size of the business and the sector in which it operates.
How is business energy consumption measured?
Energy consumption from a business includes electricity, heating and lighting, all of which are needed for a business to run. The type of business you own, its location and the number of employees will all contribute to your energy consumption cost.
What factors affect business energy consumption?
There are a number of factors that affect business energy consumption including:
Business size – A larger business with more staff and larger buildings would cost more to run than a small business with fewer employees.
The sector the business operates in – There are certain sectors like manufacturing or hospitality that are likely to use more energy than an office or a retailer.
The age of the building – Older buildings tend to not be as well insulated and are more likely to have outdated fittings on windows and doors where the cold might creep in.
The weather – The UK isn’t the hottest place in the world, so it’s likely that businesses here will spend money on heating throughout the year – especially in the winter months.
The efficiency of appliances and equipment – Energy efficient appliances and equipment are designed to use less energy, which will save you money on your energy bills
Employees’ behaviour – Having your staff educated on the effect their behaviour has on energy consumption in your business will allow you to make savings across a year.
How can businesses reduce their energy consumption?
Businesses within the UK differ in size from micro-businesses, the smallest types of business with fewer than 9 employees, to large businesses employing over 250 members of staff.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that businesses with over 250 employees will use more energy than microbusinesses, but some use as much as ten times more energy per year!
Breakdown of the average business energy consumption by size in the UK:
Microbusinesses (0-9 employees): 5,000 – 15,000 kWh per year
Small businesses (10-49 employees): 15,000 – 25,000 kWh per year
Medium businesses (50-249 employees): 25,000 – 50,000 kWh per year
Large businesses (250+ employees): 50,000+ kWh per year
What’s the average business energy consumption by sector?
How much each business spends on its energy bills does differ from business to business. However, the biggest difference is the difference in business sectors.
Figures from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (2022):
Offices: 29,000 kWh per year
Retail: 23,000 kWh per year
Healthcare: 21,000 kWh per year
Manufacturing: 19,000 kWh per year
Education: 17,000 kWh per year
Other: 15,000 kWh per year
How to reduce business energy consumption
Many businesses don’t change their energy supplier as often as they can, mainly due to a lack of understanding around the cost of their energy prices. A lot of businesses are also under the assumption that changing business energy providers is a lengthy task; at Exchange Utility we can manage the full process for you, so you don’t need to stress about switching suppliers.
There are lots of ways you can reduce your business’s energy consumption. We’ve picked out some of the best and most effective options, so you can start saving right away.
Switch to energy-efficient appliances and lighting – Energy-efficient appliances and lighting, as the name suggests, use much less energy. Appliances like refrigerators which are turned on 24/7 can eat into your energy costs, so making the switch to an energy-saving refrigerator can save you money across a year. Other measures, such as installing motion sensor-controlled lighting in meeting rooms, can ensure energy isn’t being used in rooms that aren’t in use all the time.
Install insulation – Despite being the option with the largest upfront cost, optimising your insulation is one of the most effective methods of reducing business energy consumption. It allows your premises to better retain heat during the winter months, leading to savings that will more than cover the costs in the next few years.
Seal up air leaks – Another way of making savings to your business energy bill is by sealing up any air leaks, whether that’s through windows or doors. Draughts, especially throughout the winter will leave you turning the heating on more often than you should, so sealing them will save you money.
Use natural light whenever possible – A huge expense for businesses is the cost of lighting, so using as much natural light where possible will ensure savings over a year. If you haven’t already, you should switch to LED bulbs to reduce overall lighting costs.
Turn off lights and appliances when not in use – Ensuring lights and appliances are turned off when they’re not in use will reduce your overall energy costs. Appliances will still use energy if they’re left plugged in whilst not in use, whereas turning them off at the switch or unplugging them will reduce overall energy costs. Of course, some businesses run 24/7 operations, so another consideration would be to audit the areas of the business where lights could be dimmed or turned off if not required.
Encourage employees to be mindful of energy use – Get your employees onside to ensure any changes you make can be implemented. This can be little steps such as not overfilling a kettle when making hot drinks, all the way to ensuring windows and doors are closed to retain heat.
Business energy consumption comes at a significant cost to businesses, no matter the size. From business size to its specific sector lots of factors come into the cost of your business energy bills.
Have you switched business energy providers?
If you want to make some cost-effective changes to your business’s energy bills then you should ensure that you’re switching energy suppliers once your energy contract comes to an end. Failing to switch could be costing your business more money than necessary if you’re moved to your current supplier’s out-of-contract rate.
But that doesn’t need to be the case, as our business energy brokers can work with you to find the right deal for your business before the end of your existing contract, ready for you to switch as soon as your current deal ends.