How Much Energy Does an Office Use?

What you’ll find here

How often have you really looked at your office’s utility bill in more detail?

Energy consumption is a topic that has gained increasing importance given the global energy crisis, but most office managers tend to look at overall consumption trends, rather than a more detailed view.

So, while most offices do their best to conserve energy, their efforts are most likely misguided since they don’t truly understand where their biggest energy consumption lies!

Did you know that the average electricity bill for UK businesses is £3,061 per year? While this number can increase or decrease depending on the size of your office, deeper visibility into your bill could help you better understand how your energy is being consumed and the exact pattern of use.

This would help prevent your bills creeping slowly and could also help you identify top areas in which improvements in energy consumption are needed.

Small offices. vs large offices

The table below illustrates average business gas and electricity consumption distributed by office size, along with the average annual cost of each.

Business size

Electricity consumption (kWh)

Electricity bill (£)

Gas consumption (kWh)

Gas Bill (£)


5,000 – 15,000

650 – 1800




15,000 – 30,000

1900 – 2900




30,000 – 50,000

3300 – 5000



This number can of course, vary, depending on a number of factors including the nature of the business and the energy required to run it, the time of the year, the number of employees, and the appliances used.

For example, a food service facility consumes approximately 56 kWh/square foot, whereas a warehouse consumes only approximately 9 kWh/square foot.

What are the key contributors?

With the rise of technology and automation, office energy consumption has become higher than ever. Most offices provide the basic necessities such as air conditioning or heating, ventilation, lighting, and computers.

Newer companies and start-ups have taken this a step further by offering even more to their employees, including gymnasiums, fully equipped kitchens, entertainment rooms, showers, and more.

All of these amenities come at a cost, and understanding how they contribute to overall office energy consumption is key to becoming more energy efficient.

Data from a recent Energy Seek survey indicated that the biggest contributor to the total electricity bill was air conditioning (roughly 30% of the total cost), followed by light fittings (26%), computers (10%), vending machine and water cooler (both at 6%), with other appliances shown below making up for the balance.

Additional fees and charges

The total amount due on your utility bill is not a measure of energy consumption alone. You should also take into consideration and understand any additional fees and charges that your energy supplier is tacking on to your total, since you might be getting overcharged for unnecessary expenses.

Some of the additional charges you might see on your bill are:

  • Meter costs : This is the cost of buying and maintaining your electric and gas meters. This cost can also be brought down by asking the company to install smart meters on your premises.
  • Value added tax (VAT): While VAT is usually charged at 20% on business utility bills, you may be entitled to a lower rate of VAT depending on the actual consumption per day. You should ensure to check this information with your energy supplier.
  • Climate change tax : Many suppliers have started charging a climate change tax to promote energy efficiency. Switching to renewable sources of energy can entitle you to a reduction in this amount.
  • Transmission Use of System (TNUoS) charge : This charge covers the cost of transporting and distributing your energy.
  • Supplier margin : While this may not be explicitly stated on your bill, this is the amount that your supplier earns as a profit, in order to run its marketing, acquisition and other operational costs.

How can I cut down on energy consumption?

There are several ways you can cut down on the cost of energy in your office, starting with reducing the average monthly consumption of energy.

A small move like increasing awareness about energy consumption could result in a significant change. Many companies put up posters, send out companywide emails, and share statistics and useful information with their employees to help create a culture of energy saving.

As staff awareness increases, you can also consider driving organization wide initiatives, such as encouraging online or virtual meetings vs. business travel, going paperless, incentivizing employees who contribute the most towards energy saving initiatives, etc.

You could also take it a step further by making infrastructural changes that will help you save even more energy; for example, installing smart lighting sensors that automatically turn off when the room is empty, using more energy-efficient equipment and appliances, turning down the air conditioning, and getting a smart meter that reads your energy consumption more accurately.

Switching to a more energy-efficient supplier

Perhaps the most significant way you can conserve energy and simultaneously cut down on your utility bill is to switch to a better energy supplier. Most offices and individuals tend to stick with the energy supplier that is already set up for their premises, but this can be a mistake, especially if you haven’t compared prices from different suppliers.

While this can often be a time-consuming process, it will inevitably have the biggest results in the long term, since you will be able to find a supplier that best serves your specific needs and eliminate any additional services that are driving up your bills.


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