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Average business gas and electricity consumption

As a business owner, you’ll know all about the importance of keeping costs down. If you're looking to save money on utility bills, a fixed-rate energy deal can help lower your energy bills. It can also help to cut your energy usage. This guide will explain much energy a business like yours can expect to use, so you can see if you need to cut your consumption.

3 min read

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How much energy should your business be using?

A good place to begin is by looking at how much energy similar-sized companies tend to consume and finding out the average business energy consumption in your sector. To give you a helping hand, we've compiled a useful list of average business energy consumption figures.

Take a look at the table below and compare it to your own energy usage. This should give you an overall picture of where your business’s gas and electricity consumption falls in relation to the average energy consumption of similar operations. It should also give you an idea of how much your business energy bills should be.

Business size by employeesBusiness size by revenueAverage business electricity consumptionAverage business gas consumption
0 - 10£0 - £1,400,0005,000 kWh - 15,000 kWh5,000 kWh - 15,000 kWh
11 - 50£1,400,000 - £7,000,00015,000 kWh - 25,000 kWh15,000 kWh - 30,000 kWh
51 - 250£7,000,000 - £36,000,00030,000 kWh - 50,000 kWh30,000 kWh - 65,000 kWh
251 +£36,000,000 +50,000 kWh +65,000 kWh +

What are average business energy prices in the UK

With this information to hand, it then helps to find out whether your business is overpaying for gas and electricity. There are two situations in which you’ll definitely be paying more than you need to for energy, they are:

  • If you’ve let an old energy deal expire without arranging a new one.
  • If you’ve never negotiated a new deal with your current supplier or switched to a new supplier.

But even if you have switched, it’s worth keeping an eye on prices for when your current contract is up for renewal. Here are the average business energy prices in the UK, including the average gas bill for a small business and the average electricity rates you should be paying for electricity if you run a microbusiness.

Average UK energy consumption figures are measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), which is simply a measure of power that is equal to 1,000 watts, which is. A desktop computer and monitor, for instance, uses around 500 watts an hour, which works out a 1kWh of energy every two hours.

Average business gas rates

Business sizeAnnual usagePrice per kWhStanding chargeAvg. annual cost
Micro business5,000 - 15,00030.2p32.3p£3,138
Small business15,000 - 30,00030.2p40.0p£6,941
Medium business30,000 - 65,00028.0p41.9p£13,453
Large business65,000 +29.6p123.9p £19,692

Note: Bill size may vary according to your meter type and business location. Current market volatility may also mean that the prices you’re quoted are different from the averages shown. Figures shown are the average unit rates and standing charges quoted by Bionic per business size from September 1 to September 9, 2022

Average business electricity rates

Business sizeAnnual usagePrice per kWhStanding chargeAvg. annual cost
Micro business5,000 - 15,00083.3p35.9p £8,461
Small business15,000 - 25,00082.8p39.5p £16,704
Medium business25,000 - 50,00080.1p35.0p £32,168
Large business50,000 +78.2p 32.7p £43,129

Note: Bill size may vary according to your meter type and business location. Current market volatility may also mean that the prices you’re quoted are different from the averages shown. Figures shown are the average unit rates and standing charges quoted by Bionic per business size from September 1 to September 9, 2022

If your business is spending more than others of the same size, don't worry - just think of it as an indication that you might be able to make significant savings by simply switching.

You should also bear in mind that each business is unique in its consumption habits, and the nature of your business’s operations may mean that it simply needs to consume more energy than others. What might work out as average annual gas consumption for one business, or average electricity usage for another, might not fit with your experience, so think of the figures above as a guide rather than hard and fast limits.

The good news is that there will be a number of ways in which your business can cut its average energy use to help lower your bills.

How to find the best business energy prices

Unlike households, businesses are offered bespoke quotes based on their individual circumstances. Energy suppliers must consider a lot of information about a business before they can offer them a quote. For example, the size and daily usage pattern of a business are two factors that will affect this.

If you run a larger business, you will use specially designed electricity consumption meters that give very frequent and accurate readings. These are called half-hour meters as they record power usage in blocks of half an hour or less. They allow energy suppliers to offer price incentives to big customers who can reduce their demand at peak times. If you operate from more than one location, you might need to look into multi-site metering.

As a result, energy prices will often vary from business to business, but you can consider a range of between 10.5p and 12.5p per unit for small or medium businesses as the norm. On top of your unit price, you’ll also need to factor a Standing Charge into your business energy prices. This is a charge included on your bill to cover the cost of:

  • Transporting energy to your premises
  • Maintenance and upkeep of the network used to deliver the energy to your premises

The Standing Charge is a daily cost that’s added to your bill, and each supplier will charge a different rate for their standing charge. Understanding your electricity consumption meters and your energy bills is an essential part of knowing how to cut your usage - if you need some help breaking down your energy invoices, we've got you covered with our guide to business energy bills.

Ultimately, the price you pay for your business’s energy will depend on the terms of the contract that you agree with your supplier. That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly research the quotes available to you before making a decision to switch business energy suppliers.

How to cut your business energy consumption

Once you know how much energy your business is using, you can work out what sort of energy efficiency measures to put in place.

If, for instance, you’re clocking up just a little more than the average annual electricity usage for a business of your size, you might only need to make a few minor adjustments, like turning the heating down a notch, not leaving the lights on in any unused rooms and making sure everyone switches off completely at the end of the day. Even if you’re paying just a little more than the average office electricity bill, these measures might be enough to bring your bills down.

But if you’re paying way over the average gas bill for a small business, you might need to implement some big changes, like replacing an old, inefficient boiler and fitting the workplace with double glazing to keep the heat in and the cold out.

It won’t come as a surprise that the more energy your business uses, the higher the figure on your gas and electricity consumption meters will rise and the more expensive your bills will be.

When putting together a strategy for reducing energy usage in your business, start off with the simple things, such as reminding staff to switch off lights when not in use, and making sure computers are properly shut down at the end of each day.

It might also be worth printing posters and hanging them up close to doors to remind people to switch off, or nominating someone to be responsible for flicking the switches at the end of each day.

Upgrading your office equipment to modern, energy efficient appliances is another way to save. If your business owns its own premises, you could go a step further and improve the insulation in the building or redesign floor layouts to maximise natural light.

These measures will require a certain level of investment but, over time, you may find that the savings made far outweigh the initial cost. For further information on how to reduce energy consumption in business, check out this energy efficiency guide on the government website.

Running a business energy comparison can often help you to find a better price per unit for your business and reduce the amount that you’re paying even further.

How much energy should your business be using?
What are average business energy prices in the UK
How to find the best business energy prices
How to cut your business energy consumption

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