What is average business energy consumption?

Although most businesses use between 15,000 and 25,000 kWh of energy a year, the average usage and cost of energy is different depending on the size of the business and how it uses energy.

In short, the larger the business, the more energy it’s likely to use.

Please note that all prices quoted in this guide are pre-energy crisis and pre-Ukraine conflict, meaning they are no longer representative of rates in the current market. For an explanation of why energy prices are currently so volatile, check out our blog What's going on with energy prices?

All usage figures are correct at the time of writing and aren't affected by current energy market instability. 

How much energy does an average business use?

All businesses have different energy demands - even if two businesses seem identical on the face of things, they’ll operate from different premises, which will have different heating, lighting and energy efficiency systems in place, all of which can affect the amount of energy they use.

Even just having different opening times and employees with different energy usage habits can all have an impact on energy usage.

Energy usage is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and to give you an idea of how much energy a business like yours should be using, the number crunchers at Bionic have pulled together the following data on average kwh usage for small business and medium businesses.

What is the average energy usage for a microbusiness?

The average annual energy usage for a microbusiness is:

  • Gas - between 5,000 kWh and 15,000 kWh
  • Electricity - between 5,000 kWh and 15,000 kWh

What is the average energy usage for a small business?

The average annual energy usage for a small business is:

  • Gas - between 15,000 kWh and 30,000 kWh
  • Electricity - between 15,000 kWh and 25,000 kWh

What is the average energy usage for a medium-sized business?

The average annual energy usage for a medium-sized business is:

  • Gas - between 30,000 kWh and 65,000 kWh
  • Electricity - between 25,000 kWh and 50,000 kWh

What is the average energy usage for a large business?

The average annual energy usage for a large business is:

  • Gas - more than 65,000 kWh
  • Electricity -  more than 50,000 kWh

These figures should only be used as a guide, and the amount of energy your business uses will depend upon the industry you work in and how you use gas and electricity. We've broken down the figures in the tables below for easy reference.

What is the average gas consumption for UK businesses?

Knowing how much energy other businesses your size use is a good way to understand if your business is using too much. As with business electricity, your business gas usage will vary depending upon the size of your business and how you power it.

The table below shows the average business gas usage, ordered by business size.

Business sizeAverage gas usage (kWh per year)
Microbusiness10,000
Small business 25,000
Medium business45,000

What is the average electricity consumption for UK businesses?

To give you an idea of how much electricity your business should be using, here are the average business electric consumption figures by business size and demand.

Business SizeLow-end usage (kWh)High-end usage (kWh)
Micro Business5,00015,000
Small business 15,000 25,000 
Medium business 25,00050,000

If your business uses more than 100,000 kWh of electricity a year, suppliers will class you as a large business and handle your supply differently. To find out more, check out our guide to large business energy and give our tech-enabled energy experts a call on 0800 077 3701.

What is an average business energy bill?

Your commercial energy bills will vary depending upon how much gas and electricity you use at your business premises.

The cost of your bills will also be affected by the type of tariff you're on, and although your business energy bill is made up of a number of costs, including VAT and government levies, there are two figures you need to look out for:

  • Unit cost - Measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), this is the amount you pay for each unit of gas or electricity you use.
  • Standing charge - This is a flat daily rate to cover the cost of getting the energy to your property and is charged regardless of whether or not you use any gas or electricity.

If you’re looking to cut the cost of your commercial energy bills, you’ll want a tariff that offers a lower unit rate and lower standing charge than the one you’re currently on, but you might be able to lower your bills by cutting the cost of just one of these charges.

The type of deal you’re on will also affect the cost of your business energy bills, and while there are a range of commercial tariffs on offer, simply choosing between a fixed rate and variable rate tariff can make a significant difference.

If you're on a variable rate energy deal, the unit cost will fluctuate depending upon the current market cost of energy - if prices go up, so do your energy bills, even if you consistently use the same amount of gas and electricity each month.

If you sign up for a fixed-rate deal, this means the unit rate is fixed and you’ll pay a flat rate for each unit of energy you use. Fixed-rate deals offer an effective way to protect against price hikes if energy rates increase, and can also make budgeting a bit easier, but your bills will still fluctuate according to your usage.

What is an average business gas bill?

To give you an idea of how much you should be paying on business gas, here are the average business gas bills by business size. 

Please note that these rates are pre-energy crisis and pre-Ukraine conflict. Prices are currently so volatile that it's impossible to quote average prices

Business sizeAverage business gas bill (per year)
Microbusiness£530
Small business£1,150
Medium business £1,860

Although prices may vary according to your meter type and geographic location, if your energy bills are above the average amount, you may be on an expensive tariff. You can save money by simply switching to a better deal. Call 0800 077 3701 to see how much you could save.

What are the average business gas prices per kWh?

When looking to get a grip of your energy bills, it can also help to know the average business gas prices per kWh. Here are more findings from Bionic’s number-crunching energy experts.

Please note that these rates are pre-energy crisis and pre-Ukraine conflict. Prices are currently so volatile that it's impossible to quote average prices

Business size Average price (per kWh)Standing charge (daily)
Microbusiness3.9p - 4.5p25.0p - 37.0p
Small business3.8p - 4.5p25.0p - 45.0p
Medium business3.4p - 4.2p25.0p - 61.0p

Prices may vary according to your meter type and business location. Standing charge and unit rates are based on businesses that switched or renewed gas and electricity with Bionic between January 2021 and March 2021.

What is an average business electric bill?

To give you an idea of how much your business electricity bill should be, here are the average electricity bills by business size.

Please note that these rates are pre-energy crisis and pre-Ukraine conflict. Prices are currently so volatile that it's impossible to quote average prices

Business size Average business electricity bill (per year) 
Microbusiness£1,834
Small business£3,468
Medium business£6,705 

What are the average business electricity prices per kWh?

When looking to get a grip of your energy bills, it can also help to know the average business electricity prices per kWh. Here are more findings from Bionic’s number-crunching energy experts.

Please note that these rates are pre-energy crisis and pre-Ukraine conflict. Prices are currently so volatile that it's impossible to quote average prices

Business size Average price (per kWh)Standing charge (daily)
Microbusiness16.6p - 18.0p25.0p - 32.5p
Small business16.2p - 17.7p25.0p - 34.5p
Medium business16.0p - 17.0p25.0p - 33.8p

Prices may vary according to your meter type and business location. Standing charge and unit rates are based on businesses that switched or renewed gas and electricity with Bionic between January 2021 and March 2021.

What are the average business electricity rates by business type?

If you’ve never switched business electricity, you’ll not be on your supplier’s most competitive rates and will definitely be overpaying for energy. If you’re in this position, it can help to compare the rates you’re currently paying with the average rates paid by other businesses in your sector.

If, for instance, you run a restaurant, asking how much energy an average restaurant uses every year and comparing the costs with the rates you pay will instantly highlight how much you could save by switching suppliers.

Business typeUnit rate (per kWh)Standing charge (daily)Cost per year
Coffee Shop13.42p26.70p£2,109
Hair Salon13.88p27.23p£2,182
Small Farm14.19p24.21p£2,218
Dental Surgery13.84p27.61p£2,176
Restaurant14.87p25.46p£3,067
Newsagent14.51p24.28p£1,830

Please note that the above rates are pre-energy crisis and pre-Ukraine conflict. Prices are currently so volatile that it's impossible to quote average prices.

What businesses use a lot of energy?

The type of industry you work in and the way your business uses energy will determine the amount of energy it uses each year. And when it comes to heating business premises, the energy efficiency of the building will also play a part. 

Here is a breakdown of the UK’s top 10 biggest business energy consumers:

IndustryCombined annual usage
Commercial and miscellaneous services169,972,450 MWh
Public administration64,883,770 MWh
Manufacturing and industrial services42,042,450 MWh
Chemical manufacturing 40,728,260 MWh
Food, drink and tobacco manufacturing34,506,210 MWh
Mineral products manufacturing 30,028,660 MWh
Printing and publishing 21,294,530 MWh
Agriculture17,503,150 MWh
Mechanical engineering 17,596,190 MWh
Iron, steel and metal manufacturing17,410,110 MWh

How to cut your business energy usage

Managing and improving the energy efficiency of your business will help to reduce the amount of energy consumed. There are any number of ways to do this, such as:

  • Carrying out an energy audit
  • Using energy-efficient lighting
  • Using energy-efficient computers
  • Encouraging your staff to go green
  • Installing energy generation technology

Although the effectiveness of any energy efficiency measures depend on the type of business you run and the steps you take, even making a few small changes can help to make a big difference.

How to reduce your business energy bills

Cutting the amount of gas and electricity you use is obviously the most effective way to cut your business energy bills, but arguably the quickest and simplest way best to lower your bills is to switch to a cheaper tariff. 

The tech-enabled energy experts at Bionic can find the right deal for your business in a matter of minutes and help you with the switch. To start your business energy price comparison, let us know your postcode or give us a call on 0800 077 3701 and we’ll do the rest.

If you don’t arrange a new deal before your current one expires, your supplier will place you on its more expensive rates. The only way to make sure that you never pay more than you need to for energy is to stay on top of your renewal dates and switch at the right time. 

If this sounds like too much hassle, don’t worry - our Digital Renewal service can automatically take care of renewals so you never overpay for energy again.

We can also help you with a range of other business essentials, including business insurance, VoIP, phone and broadband.