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How much electricity does a business use and how can you reduce it?

How much electricity does a business use and how can you reduce it?

All businesses have different energy demands, depending on their size, the number of employees, location, operating hours, and the energy efficiency of appliances.

All of these factors impact the amount of energy your business may use. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, businesses consume around 154,439 gigawatt-hours per year of power, costing about $20.2 billion.

Understanding the amount of electricity your business consumes can help you save money while helping the environment. To get a proper understanding of how much energy your business uses and work on reducing it, the below tips can help you take control.

Calculate what uses electricity in your businesses

Before getting into how much electricity your business needs, start by understanding how it’s measured and how your business might use it. Electricity is usually measured and priced in terms of cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

To put this in a business context and understand how much electricity is used and the cost, let’s take a standard laptop. A standard laptop or notebook uses about 50- 100 watts of electricity per hour. A business is likely to run the laptop for eight hours a day, therefore it uses between 150 and 300 kWh per day. If we use 21 cents per kWh as a rate, this laptop would cost $31.50 - $63 per day to run. This is a basic and general calculation for reference. Your business's electricity provider may charge more or less, or you may be on a different sort of plan.

You can then do similar calculations for other appliances or electricals in your business. This will give you an idea of what is using the most electricity and how much they cost.

Compare your bill to other similar businesses

You can compare your company's electricity bill with other similar businesses - in terms of size, type, and location. This will help you understand if you’re consuming too much. Leading Edge Energy conducted a survey to help you by answering the question, how much electricity does a business use on average,

The results show:

  • Small Businesses – Up to 30,000 kWh PA
  • Medium Business – 150,000 kWh to 1,000,000 kWh PA
  • Large Business – 100,000,000 to 7,500,000 kWh PA

Consider using online comparison tools to compare energy deals offered by different providers. Browse through energy providers’ plans and check if they’re offering a better deal. Make sure to check on all the fees that might be involved, including exit fees, before making the switch.

Conduct energy efficiency assessments

To reduce the energy intake of your business, consider conducting an energy assessment. This will help you understand your company’s total energy consumption and determine potential areas where usage can be reduced.

You can either conduct an energy assessment in-house or use an external expert to carry out the process. The objective of this is to look for strategies that can help you take control of your electricity and ultimately lead to significant savings.

After the assessment, you should have some great ideas on how to reduce your electricity usage. In the meantime, here are a few tips:

  • Investing in renewable energy options like solar power will help you reduce your businesses energy consumption and boost your green credentials.
  • Switching off equipment that uses a lot of power when they’re not in use, instead of leaving them on standby mode.
  • Make the switch to energy-efficient lighting and consider which lights need to be left on.

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Jodie Humphries before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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