As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. Whether you’ve been in business for decades or you just opened your doors, managing your obligations to ensure long-term financial stability is an important part of the job. Since energy consumption is one of the biggest overhead costs for businesses of all shapes and sizes, understanding average business electric bills will help prevent your business from overpaying.
But one size does not fit all.
Average electric bills vary across industries and different types of businesses due to many important factors, including geographical location and energy usage. In fact, states with the most expensive utilities include Hawaii and Florida while New Mexico and Utah have some of the lowest utility bills in the country.
Energy cost estimates for businesses also depend on which electrical devices are being used to help run your business. From LED light bulbs and computers to heating and cooling systems and printers, these common appliances use energy differently and therefore come with varying average costs.
While energy needs like ventilation, cooling, and cooking contribute to a typical grocery store’s electricity usage, refrigeration and lighting make up more than 50% of total energy consumption. According to Energy Star, grocery stores spend approximately $4 per square foot on about 50 kWh of electricity and 50 cubic feet of gas every year. That translates to a $160,000 electric bill for a midsize grocery store that occupies roughly 40,000 square feet.
Gas stations have evolved with the needs of their customers and offer more than just different types of fuel these days. Modern gas stations are often outfitted with charging stations for electric cars as well as convenience stores that sell food and drinks. With these additional products and services, utility needs have also evolved to include water, electricity, and lighting — for both efficiency and safety purposes. According to Gas Stations USA, electric bills for gas stations vary but tend to hover around $2,000 per month, or $24,000 per year.
Average energy bills for physicians’ offices cost about $2,000 per month, while monthly utility bills can be exponentially much higher for hospitals. Given the amount of electricity required to power the electrical equipment and other tech-enabled devices used to test and treat hospital patients, electric bills are some of the largest expenses for hospitals. At facilities that participated in a 2018 survey initiated by Grumman/Butkus Associates, a firm of energy efficiency consultants and sustainable design engineers, energy usage varied broadly.
However, they reported that, “Several hospitals were consuming more than 45 kWh/sf/year in electrical energy, compared with a mid-range of about 30 kWh/sf/year. A few survey participants squeaked in at less than 18 kWh/sf/year. The wide differences in usage mean that some of our participants are paying well over $4/sf/year for electrical energy, while many are getting by at less than $2.50 and a few at less than $1.50.”
According to Energy Star, full-service U.S. hotels spend an average of $2,196 per available room each year, which accounts for 6% of their total operational costs. That figure is based on the benchmark that states these businesses spend an average of $1.05 per square foot on electricity each year. Because comfort, cleanliness, and convenience are important to the hospitality industry’s target market, hotels are often resistant to implementing conservation measures that might be perceived as cutting costs at the expense of the guests’ experience. This has resulted in slow year-over-year energy cost reductions for the hotel industry at large.
No matter what kind of business you have or how long you’ve been operating, it’s important to understand average business electric bills to hedge unforeseen costs that drive up your energy bills.
At EnergyBot, we analyze and track electricity rates for businesses across industries. Contact us to learn more about average business electric bills for different types of businesses, or how we can help save your business energy and money today.
Whether you're renting or buying a home, it's important to budget for the cost of utility expenses. Learn more about what utility bills typically include.
While smart technology did not become all the buzz until recently, devices such as smart meters have been gaining popularity in tracking energy consumption in the U.S. since 2006. In fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, smart electricity meter installations have more than doubled since 2010.