Business energy statistics

Your guide to the energy consumption of UK businesses. How much does the average office cost to run?

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked
Picture not described

We’ve compiled all the latest statistics below to show you how UK businesses have consumed and spent money on energy over the last year. If you’re a company that feels it has overspent on energy, be sure to compare suppliers regularly to see how much money you could save.

The latest stats

How is the UK using energy? In 2018, UK energy consumption rose by 0.8% to 151,000 ktoe (kilotonnes of oil equivalent). Transport and Domestic sectors use the most energy, at over 55% of total energy consumption combined. Explore the chart and table below to find out more.

Sector Usage
Transport 56,954 ktoe
Domestic 41,250 ktoe
Other industries 21,857 ktoe
Other Final Users 21,805 ktoe
Commercial 13,225 ktoe
Non-energy use 8,541 ktoe
Public administration 5,647 ktoe
Agriculture 1,584 ktoe
Miscellaneous 1,349 ktoe
Iron and steel 858 ktoe

What is a ktoe?

A tonne of oil equivalent – also called a “toe” – is a unit of energy. It’s a common unit of measurement that enables different fuels to be compared and aggregated. There are a few different multiples of a toe, including a thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (or a kilotonne of oil equivalent), which is called a “ktoe” for short.

How much does it cost to run a typical office?

Electricity is a necessity for running an office, but what might surprise you is which appliances are costing you the most. We created a hypothetical model office and calculated the cost of running it. The total cost was £10,423 per year in energy bills alone.

Take a look at the graphic below to see how much each appliance contributed to the total cost, or click on the list tab to see a more detailed breakdown. The below figures are based on a standard variable business tariff (c. 18p pkWh).

Appliance Percentage of total electricity bill
Air con 29.15%
Light fittings 26.12%
Computers 10.91%
Vending Machine 6.05%
Water Cooler 6.05%
Kettles 4.66%
Fridge 3.33%
Printers 3.02%
Hand dryers 2.59%
Microwaves 1.73%
TV screens 1.71%
Laptops 1.27%
Dishwasher 1.04%
Toasters 1.04%
Coffee machine 0.86%
Desk fans 0.48%

Office size and average running cost

The cost of running an office is dependant on many factors, but the average cost for a micro business today is £1,518 per year. A medium business can land on £6,563 per year, while an industrial business lands on £52,931 per year on average, and that’s just for the electricity and gas bill. Many industrial businesses work around the clock, while other businesses can actually make savings by just making sure that computers and lights are properly turned off over the weekend. Additionally, installing A-grade energy appliances like lamp bulbs or a new smart meter can also put a dent in your bill.

Working from home heavily reduce these prices, which might be why many companies, like Twitter, now opt for having their employees work from home. For some perspective, the average household uses 8.5-10kWh of electricity and 33-38kWh of gas per day.

Business type Electric (kWh) Gas (kWh) Total annual bill
Micro businesses (1-9 employees) 7,500 5,000 £1,518
Small businesses (10-49 employees) 20,000 15,000 £3,664
Medium businesses (50-250 employees) 35,000 35,000 £6,563
Large businesses (over 250 employees) 90,000 75,000 £15,609
Industrial businesses 250,000 500,000 £52,931

Green energy statistics

2018 saw the UK kick on with green energy initiatives, including an emphasis on renewable energy production. The EU goal was to make 20% of all energy via renewable resources such as wind and solar power by 2020, but as the UK has already met this goal, it will most likely change it to 30%. In 2020, the UK also managed to last 67 days without coal-fired power. This was the longest streak since the industrial revolution.

£1.4 billion

The amount that the smart meter initiative is predicted to save in energy by 2030 in non-domestic customers.

46%

How much of the average business’s total energy consumption is consumed outside of 8am-6pm, as found by British Gas. This highlights a need for improved energy efficiency, such as ensuring computers are turned off at the end of the day and on weekends.

Solar energy records broken

In the first quarter of 2020, 47% of UK’s energy was powered by solar energy.

How does your business energy provider stack up?

The table below ranks non-domestic energy suppliers on how they handled complaints between January and March 2020, from best to worst – as ranked by the citizen’s advice bureau. How does your energy provider fare?

Contract Natural Gas had the most happy customers during the first quarter of 2020, and a close second is E.On.

Jan-Mar 2020 rank Supplier
1 Contract Natural Gas
2 E.On
3 SSE
4 Haven Power
5 Utility Warehouse
6 EDF
7 Total Gas & Power
8 British Gas
9 Opus Energy
10 Gazprom
11 Dual Energy
12 Scottish Power
13 nPower
14 Utilita
15 Business Energy Solutions
16 Corona
15 Business Energy Solutions
16 Corona

Sources used

  • Citizens Advice
  • Gov.uk
  • Solar Trade Association
  • Make It Cheaper
  • SmarterBusiness

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
Head of UK communications
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

Related articles

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site