Understanding How Electricity in Businesses Sector is Used
There are around 5.6 million commercial constructions within the USA. As anyone can guess, each of these structures consume electricity to some extent, and in some form, shape or way. Irrespective of industry, it’s imperative for business owners to know their options when it’s about electric rates and plans, especially the ones in deregulated markets.
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According to the definition of the EIA (Energy Information Administration) business buildings are commercial buildings. For a building to get categorized as commercial, more than 50% of its square area should be used for business activities. Thus, commercial buildings can include:
- Government buildings (except military bases or reservations)
This energy sector is defined by the EIA as the “commercial sector”. Several businesses or organizations can be categorized within or under the commercial sector including:
- Federal, State and Local Government
- Social, Fraternal or Religious Groups
- Sewage Treatment Facilities
Common sources of consumption of electricity in the commercial sector include:
- Air conditioning
- Space heating
- Electric generators
- Water heating
- Other related equipment
Quick Facts on Usage of Electricity in Businesses
- As mentioned earlier, the US has around 5 million commercial buildings
- Most of the energy is used by businesses in the South, followed by the Midwest, the Northeast and lastly the West. Businesses in the South spend almost 40 billion a year on electricity.
- Less than 1% of businesses are accommodated in buildings bigger than 200,000. However they signify 25% of energy consumption of all businesses.
- Usage of CFLs and halogen lights in businesses has increased over time as a cost-effective measure, whereas the usage of incandescent lights has reduced steadily.
- The size of the business or commercial building determines the cost of electricity. Roughly, Micro Businesses consume 5,000 kWh to 15,000 kWh, Small Businesses use 15,000 kWh to 25,000 kWh and Medium Businesses use 30,000 kWh to 50,000 kWh.
- Big Businesses consume at least 100,000 kWh of electricity. Their electricity rates and supply are usually handled a bit differently than other types of businesses.
- Slightly less than 1/5th of the total energy consumption of the United States comes from commercial buildings.
- The top three sources of energy consumption are space heating and cooling, and lighting in the energy sector.
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