Business Energy Consumption for SMEs

Small businesses in the UK are facing financial challenges, and cutting expenses is crucial for maintaining your ground in the energy market. The increasing energy costs in the UK can burden various businesses, like shops and cafes. It's vital to avoid overpaying for your energy.

Energy requirements differ among businesses. To simplify managing a small business, it's essential to compare prices for business gas and electric prices. This will help you save on energy costs and ease the financial strain.

What do you mean by a SME?

SMEs, or small and medium-sized enterprises, are businesses of a certain size. In the EU, they're typically defined as having fewer than 250 employees. The UK's definition is a bit more detailed. HMRC, which deals with taxes, considers an SME to be a business with a turnover under £100m and fewer than 500 employees.

However, the UK government also aligns with the EU in its definitions. Here's how it breaks it down:
  • A Medium Enterprise has fewer than 250 employees and a turnover below £25.9m or £50m.
  • A Small Enterprise has fewer than 50 employees and a turnover below £6.5m or £10m.
  • A micro business has fewer than 10 employees and a turnover below £2m.

SMEs play a significant role in the UK, employing millions of people. Over 95% of UK businesses have less than 10 employees, and more than 99% fall into the SME category.

Examples of UK SMEs include sole traders, freelancers, photographers, shops, tradespeople, hairdressers, caterers, and contractors, among others. These are just a few illustrations of the diverse range of SMEs found in the UK.

Average Energy Consumption of SMEs

Small and medium-sized businesses use meters to measure their gas and electricity usage. There are various types of meters for SMEs. Meters that require manual readings can lead to estimated bills based on past readings. You or someone from your business can read the meters for accurate data, or Energy Suppliers for Business can send someone to do it.

Smart meters are a great option for many businesses. They provide real-time and precise readings, allowing you to closely monitor your energy usage. The data from smart meters helps you manage your business's energy consumption, making it easier to reduce gas and electricity costs.

Electricity usage is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), representing the energy needed to power 1,000-watt appliances for an hour. Gas bills often use measurements in cubic feet (ft3) or cubic meters (m3), which are typically converted to kWh for billing.

Many smart meters also display energy usage in terms of how much you've spent, making it easier to understand the financial impact of your energy use. This helps small businesses budget effectively based on their energy bills.

Average Business Gas Consumptions in SMEs

Business Gas usage varies which depends upon the type of business. For example, a café would use more gas than a small clothing store. On the other hand, some shops don’t even require a gas supply for their business.

Here are the average gas consumption figures for different types of businesses:

  • Microbusinesses usually use 5,000 kWh to 15,000 kWh of gas per year.
  • Small businesses typically fall in the range of 15,000 kWh to 30,000 kWh annually.
  • Medium-sized businesses can have annual gas usage ranging from 30,000 kWh to 65,000 kWh.
Average Business Electricity Consumption in SMEs

Electricity consumption is a common need for all SME businesses, but the amount used can differ based on the business type. Businesses might require electricity for lighting, while others need a steady supply for things like refrigeration or computers.

Here are the typical electricity consumption ranges for businesses in the UK:

  • Microbusinesses typically use 5,000 kWh to 15,000 kWh of electricity per year.
  • Small businesses usually fall in the range of 15,000 kWh to 25,000 kWh annually.
  • Medium-sized businesses can have annual electricity usage ranging from 25,000 kWh to 50,000 kWh.
Ways to Save on Energy Bills

Continuously Monitor and Optimize : Electricity management is an ongoing process. Regularly review and update your electricity efficiency initiatives as technology advances and new opportunities arise. Stay informed about industry trends and emerging technologies that can further enhance your energy-saving efforts

Monitor and Track Energy Usage : Implement an electricity monitoring system to track and analyze your business's electricity consumption. This data will help identify patterns, anomalies, and opportunities for further optimization. Regularly review electricity bills to ensure accuracy and identify any sudden increases in usage.

Conduct an Energy Audit : Start by conducting a thorough electricity audit of your business premises. Identify areas where electricity consumption is high and analyze potential sources of electricity wastage. This assessment will serve as a foundation for implementing targeted solutions to reduce electricity usage.

Change your current electricity supplier : If you find your energy bills rising, you can switch your current tariff with the same supplier or you can compare various tariffs of different suppliers available in your location and switch to the Cheapest Energy Supplier which suits your business needs.

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