How much energy does my business use?

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IGS Energy Business Energy Facts and SolutionsAs a business owner, understanding your expenses is an important part of streamlining your business. By knowing what you spend on energy, you can make a few changes to your energy usage and reduce your operating costs and your business’s impact on the environment.

Your Business Energy Costs

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), residential and commercial buildings account for a combined 40% of the country’s energy costs. This also accounts for street and outdoor lighting, and sewage and water treatment, though these are relatively small contributors to the total energy consumption. Over half of commercial buildings are office buildings, which spend an average of $1.51 per square foot in energy costs.

Office buildings spend an average of $1.51 per square foot in energy costs, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration

The table below provides the total estimated energy cost for office buildings based on the EIA’s average of $1.51 of energy cost per square foot and should give you an idea of how much your business spends on energy in a year.

Year of Building’s Construction Avg. Size of Office Building (sq. ft.) Total Energy Cost ($1.51/sq. ft.)
Before 1960 12,000 $18,480
1960-1999 16,300 $24,613
2000-Present 19,000 $28,690

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Because of their size, hotels and lodging businesses, health care facilities, and education buildings typically have higher energy costs.

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Commercial Energy Costs in the U.S.

Knowing more about your business’s energy consumption can play a small part in understanding how businesses collectively impact energy consumption in the national and global communities.

Office buildings make up a huge portion of commercial energy consumption. According to the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC), “the average office building uses 1.4 billion Btu per year.” That means that the energy consumption of one office building equals the approximate usage of 16 households.

In total, office buildings consume almost 1 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), accounting for about 19 percent of annual commercial energy consumption.

To draw comparison between commercial energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, Class 5 Energy estimates that each commercial building consumes the equivalent to around 8,000 gallons of gasoline annually that is equivalent to the annual gas consumption of nearly 14 drivers.

How to Make Your Business More Energy Efficient

If you want to make your business more efficient with its energy, there are some easy ways you can minimize your commercial energy costs while lowering your business’s impact on the environment. You can start by implementing a computer-controlled system that automatically sets temperatures to regulate your heating and cooling usage and minimize wasted resources. In addition, install energy-efficient light fixtures and bulbs to limit energy consumption and decrease your business’s carbon footprint.

If you’re interested in finding more ways to lower your business’s energy costs, or to learn about green business energy solutions, IGS provides business energy services in cities throughout the country. Find out if IGS supplies business energy in your area.