Which Industry Uses The Most Energy Per Square Foot?
Energy is the single greatest operating cost for most commercial buildings, most of which comes in the form of electricity. That being the case, property managers looking for ways to minimize costs are of significant concern about the cost of utility-supplied electricity.
Energy is the single greatest operating cost for most commercial buildings, most of which comes in the form of electricity. That being the case, property managers looking for ways to minimize costs are of significant concern about the cost of utility-supplied electricity. But energy cost management and mitigation does not happen overnight; it is part of a broader educational process that begins with learning more about how you are being paid, the energy profile of your industry, and the unique energy dynamic of your house.
To that end, a common question is this: What is the average cost of commercial property per square foot for utilities? We will address that in the sections that follow, and include some relevant information on how industry energy profiles can be useful.
- In 2016, the average energy cost was $1.69 per square foot for private-sector office buildings.
- Commercial buildings spend $1.44 per square foot per year on electricity and $0.30 per square foot per year on natural gas, according to the 2012 Commercial Building Energy Usage Report (updated as of 2018).
- The largest single use of electricity in the commercial sector in 2018 was refrigeration, accounting for 13.9 percent of spending. Machine drives (motors) are the largest use of electricity for U.S. producers.
- According to the U.S. Department of Electricity, for a commercial house, the average amount of kilowatt hours per square foot is roughly 22.5. A food service plant uses about 56 kWh/square foot, a shopping mall 23, a public assembly building 15, and a warehouse 9.
- Looking forward to 2050, with more industrial buildings replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps, lighting is expected to display the largest decrease in electricity intensity (54 per cent).
- For commercial buildings, on-site electricity generation from solar is expected to increase by an average of 5 percent per year.
- Hawaii, California, and Alaska are the three states that have the highest commercial utility prices.
What factors contribute to the cost of energy?
The cost of electricity is dependent on a range of factors, including the time of day you are using it, the season of the year (due to increased energy demand, summer prices can be higher than winter rates), and where you live.
In accordance with the factors mentioned above, you are billed based on your energy use and demand. Different industries have different criteria for energy use—for example, certain buildings, including hospitals, run 24/7, and food service facilities must power refrigeration units continuously. Other services are open for short hours and also close throughout the summer, such as schools. Your electricity consumption is also a major factor in what you pay: over a billing period, the maximum hourly power requirement forms the basis of the demand fee of a utility, which constitutes a large portion of your bill.