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Across the US, More than $200 Billion Dollars Annually Goes to Commercial Energy Expenses

From Mom & Pop shops to Fortune 100 companies and businesses of every size in-between, energy consumption is one of the largest overhead expenses. Every dollar saved from utility expenses is another dollar to power the future of your business.

At Integrity Energy, we’re dedicated to helping businesses lower their energy costs and find long-term energy solutions. We’ve helped over 40,000 businesses reduce their monthly expenditures so they can focus on the future of their business. With our energy industry expertise, we know that knowledge is power. Below, we examine the major factors that contribute to the average business electric bill.

Start By Securing the Lowest Business Energy Rates

Energy rates are unpredictable, fluctuating on a daily basis due to market demand, fuel supply, and seasonality. This pricing volatility can result in unexpectedly high energy bills that can severely affect your bottom line. As of December 2023, the average commercial electricity rate across the United States was 12.39¢ per kilowatt-hour (kWh), while natural gas averaged around $9.83 per 1000 ft2 (Mcf). Many things can contribute to your business’s energy rates. The best way to create business utility bill stability is by finding a long-term, fixed-rate energy plan.

Consider Partnering with a Commercial Energy Broker

Did you know that businesses that operate in a deregulated energy market have the power to choose their energy supplier? Within deregulated energy markets, business owners can choose between a wide variety of energy suppliers, however the sheer number of options can be very overwhelming. 

By partnering with a trusted commercial energy broker, like Integrity Energy, you’ll receive a range of customized energy plans tailored to your business’s unique energy demands. We’re able to leverage our partnership with more than 30 top-rated energy providers to secure the most competitive commercial energy rates on the market. By securing one of our fixed-rate, long-term energy plans, you’ll have more stable energy bills far into the future. This stability provides peace of mind, so you can focus on business operations. When your contract is coming to a close, our scheduled renewal services help you find the next great energy plan for your business.

Improve Energy Performance

Beyond securing a low, fixed energy rate, you can lower energy bills through simple energy-saving habits and strategic upgrades. According to the Department of Energy (DOE) most businesses waste between 20-30% of the energy they consume due to system inefficiencies and bad habits. By lowering energy consumption and reducing waste, you can achieve significant savings while contributing to a healthier environment.

A great method for assessing your business’s energy performance is by benchmarking your building against industry standards. Energy benchmarking measures your current energy usage and compares it against comparable businesses. This practice provides insights into opportunities for improvement in your own business while encouraging transparency in your given industry.  Energy Star, the government backed symbol of energy efficiency, created the benchmarking industry standard, with more than 25% of all American commercial buildings already participating.

Energy Usage Varies by Industry & Location

Small business electricity costs vary on a variety of factors, including whether the market is deregulated or not, what industry you’re in, and your business’ operational hours. Below we illuminate some of the lesser known factors that affect energy bills.

Energy usage by industry:

Restaurants: Commercial kitchen appliances are notoriously energy intensive. Keep costs low by investing in energy-efficient Energy Star-certified appliances. Energy Star appliances can save the average commercial kitchen up to $5,300 each year.

Hospitality/Hotels: Hotels and resorts have a significant energy demand due to their 24/7 operations and fluctuating occupancy levels. On average, each hotel room costs $2,196 each year in energy expenses.

Seasonal Businesses: Venues, campsites, event centers and social clubs have unique energy demands due to large fluctuations in energy consumption based on their event calendars and busy season.  Seasonal businesses often need a customized energy solution to account for their varying energy consumption.

Frontline Industries: Hospitals, fire, and police departments have unique energy consumption patterns since these essential organizations never close. Each of these organizations have their own specialized equipment, security, and back-up systems to consider.

Additional factors that influence energy rates:

Energy Source: The energy source that powers your business can affect your energy bills. Fossil fuels are prone to unexpected price fluctuations based on market dynamics. Renewable energy is less expensive when abundant, but can be unreliable or expensive when generation is low. Nuclear power is generally stable both in cost and reliability.

Peak Demand Periods: Your business’s hours of operation can affect energy bills as well. Peak demand periods can trigger time-of-use fluctuations. In the summer, peak demand hours are generally 10am-8pm whereas winter peak demand periods are generally 7am-11am and 5pm-9pm. Reducing energy use during these periods lowers energy bills.

Seasonal Pricing Fluctuations: As a general rule, the most cost-effective time of year to secure energy rates are during the more moderate spring and fall seasons. Energy rates jump during the peak demands of summer and winter.

Locational Differences: Occasionally, the location you live in is the reason for higher energy bills. Remote areas of the country, like Alaska and Hawaii, have fairly high electricity rates, averaging 33.63¢/kWh. Other areas of the country have lower commercial rates, including states like Utah (10.86¢/kWh) or North Dakota (10.23¢/kWh). This fluctuation is usually due to available energy sources and if the market is regulated.

Tips to Lower Your Business’s Electric Bill

Simple, low to no-cost actions and strategic upgrades can save the average business more than 30% on their energy bills.  Below, we highlight some of the simplest ways to make a big impact on your energy bill:

Create Power-Down Procedures: Creating a closing time routine to power down computers, appliances, and other electronic devices to lower energy demand.

Engage Employees with a Treasure Hunt: Energy Star has created interactive energy treasure hunts, so you can empower your employees to get involved in energy efficiency and conservation practices.

Upgrade to LED Lighting: Modern LED lighting uses 75% less energy and lasts up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. This low-cost upgrade lowers both energy and maintenance expenses.

Install a Programmable Thermostat: Your business can save up to 10% on annual energy expenses simply by turning down the thermostat during non-operational hours.

Conduct Regular Maintenance: By implementing regular maintenance on your building systems, your business can reduce up to 50% of electricity use. Not only does it improve efficiency, but it also prolongs the lifespan of your building systems and appliances. 

Consider Renewable Energy: Onsite renewable power, like solar panels or wind turbines, reduces your dependence on your local utility, resulting in lower bills. Businesses can take advantage of net-metering, creating an additional revenue stream by selling excess energy to your local utility.

Contact a Commercial Energy Broker: Explore what energy solutions are available in your area by contacting a commercial energy broker, like Integrity Energy. Our energy experts leverage our partnership with more than 30 trusted suppliers to secure the most competitive commercial energy rates for your business. 

Average Commercial Water Bills for Small Businesses

Beyond energy expenses, business owners must be aware of how water consumption also impacts their bottom line. Commercial buildings are the second largest consumer of publicly supplied water, accounting for 17% of annual water usage. Many minor plumbing issues can add up quickly. For example, a single toilet with a misaligned flapper component can waste 8,600 gallons a month, costing $95/month if not addressed.

Each drop of wasted water leads to a higher utility bill. To help improve your business’s water conservation efforts, read our Water Conservation 101 blog or visit the EPA’s website to review their WaterSense Program. Both resources offer great advice on more mindful water usage.

Quick Tips to Reduce Your Business’s Water Bill

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Invest in low-flow fixtures

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Lower your water heater temperature to 120ºF

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Conduct regular water heater maintenance

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Insulate your water heater’s hot water tank and pipes

Power Your Business With The Lowest Energy Rates

In the dynamic business landscape, utility expenses are a regular source of budgetary stress. By taking a proactive approach to energy management, your business lowers energy expenses and streamlines business operations. Whether your business is seeking low to no-cost energy conservation practices or a comprehensive energy solution tailored to your business’s unique energy demands, the experts at Integrity Energy have you covered. Commercial energy brokers help you secure the most competitive rates and long-term solutions to power your business. Take the first step towards energy savings by requesting a free quote today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: How do energy expenses for businesses compare between regulated and unregulated energy markets?

A: Energy expenses for businesses can vary significantly between regulated and unregulated energy markets. In regulated markets, utilities typically have a monopoly on supplying electricity, leading to less competition and potentially higher prices for businesses. In contrast, unregulated markets allow businesses to choose their energy suppliers, fostering competition and potentially lower prices.

Q: What are some specific strategies recommended by Integrity Energy to lower average business electric bills?

A: Integrity Energy recommends several strategies to lower average business electric bills. These include conducting comprehensive energy surveys and analyses to identify cost-saving opportunities, benchmarking energy usage to similar buildings to highlight inefficiencies, and implementing energy-saving measures such as using energy-efficient equipment, installing programmable thermostats, and utilizing motion sensor lighting. Additionally, Integrity Energy suggests considering renewable energy options like solar power to offset electricity costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Q: Are there any additional government incentives or rebates available for businesses implementing energy-saving measures such as installing energy-efficient equipment or solar panels?

A: Government incentives and rebates may be available for businesses implementing energy-saving measures. These incentives can vary depending on factors such as location and the specific energy-saving technology being adopted. For example, businesses may be eligible for tax credits, grants, or rebates for installing solar panels, upgrading to energy-efficient equipment, or participating in utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs. Consulting with energy experts or government agencies can help businesses identify and take advantage of available incentives.