How Much Should Electricity Cost for a Small Business

how much should electricity cost for a small businessHow much does your small business pay for electricity? The answer is probably too much. Typically one of the largest monthly expenditures facing small businesses, more and more small business owners are struggling to keep up with rising rates for the electricity you need just to operate. The good news is, you’re not alone, and there are solutions.

To begin, you’ll need to have a better idea of what you should be expecting to pay. Unfortunately, due to the wide range of business sizes and types, it can be difficult to know how much you should be paying for your power bill. That being said, the average monthly bill for commercial properties in the United States was $647.61 in 2019. Where do you stack up?

If you’re unsatisfied with the amount your small business is paying for electricity each month, it may be time to explore your options.

Below, we’ll uncover the average monthly electric rates for businesses in different industries, giving you a better picture of how much electricity should cost for your small business. Then, we’ll cover ways you can calculate your electricity costs per device to give you further insight into your specific energy usage. Ready to get started?

Average Electric Bill Rate – Per Industry

Let’s start off with some good news. Currently, Georgia ranks 34th out of all 50 states in terms of average electric bill cost, making us well below the mid-point. Unfortunately, our rates have been rising dramatically in recent years, giving us the largest increase of any state within the last year. If you’re looking to keep your business afloat, now may be the perfect time to work with a utility rate consultant to lower your bills before you get hit with even more increases.

That being said, average monthly electric bills can vary widely across industries based on location and usage requirements. While the information below only covers broad, sweeping estimates, here’s what you can expect to pay per month for your small business.

Restaurants

At Green Line Rates, we work with a lot of restaurant owners on reducing their monthly utility bills, so we understand the energy usage requirements of these types of businesses well.

Throughout the United States, restaurants can expect to spend an average of $2.90 per square foot per month just on electricity alone. If your space is around 5,000 square feet that means you’re likely spending around $1,200 every month.

Average Yearly Electric Costs – $14,400

Grocery Stores

With all those lights and industrial size freezers, grocery stores use more electricity than most other businesses. In fact, those two components alone account for more than 50 percent of total energy consumption for grocery stores across the country.

On average, grocery store owners expect to spend a bit more than restaurants – roughly $4.00 per square foot per month on electricity and gas. With an average size of 40,000 square feet, that comes out to roughly $13,300 per month.

Average Yearly Electric Costs – $160,000

Gas Stations

Gas stations have quickly grown past simple stop and fill spaces for many. Now more similar to a small grocery store than a simple fueling station, modern gas stations come equipped with convenience stores for food and drink, plus increasing numbers of charging stations for electric cars. Because of the difference in what gas stations can offer, it’s a little bit harder to determine the average monthly rate. However, Gas Stations USA estimate that typical rates hover at around $2,000 per month.

Average Yearly Electric Costs – $24,000

Hospitals & Other Medical Facilities

Hospitals are another big spender when it comes to energy, having some of the largest electricity bills of any industry. The large amount of high-powered equipment and medical devices within these facilities improve and save lives every day, but they also require vast amounts of electricity to function.

While a full scale hospital can typically be the most expensive to run, specialized facilities with specific pieces of high powered equipment can add up too. On average, energy bills for these offices cost anywhere from $2,000 to $13,000 per month.

Average Yearly Electric Costs – $4,000 – $160,000

Calculating Your Electric Costs

While the above are just ballpark estimates, there’s a more detailed process you can use to determine what your average rate should be. Additionally, performing this self-audit can give you a better idea of what’s consuming the most power in your business. That insight will help you make better energy usage decisions in the long run.

In short, this method allows you to calculate a rough cost estimate for running each appliance and device in your business. To do so, simply:

  • Multiply the wattage of the device by the number of hours it’s used per day
  • Divide the result by 1,000 to find the average kilowatt usage per day
  • Multiply by your kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate – given to you by your power company

We’ve outlined the process using a common laptop below:

electricity costs infographic

While a dollar per month for one laptop is certainly reasonable, other pieces of equipment such as commercial freezers and MRI machines can come out to much more. Some other expensive devices in terms of energy include:

  • Lighting – both indoor and outdoor
  • Heating and cooling systems – especially during the hot Georgia summers
  • Computers and laptops
  • Printers
  • Security systems

Saving on Your Electric Bills with Green Line Rates

If, after reading this article, you’re still unsatisfied with what you’re spending on electricity, know that businesses both big and small can benefit from partnering with a team focused on cost-saving energy contract management support.

At Green Line Rates, we help you navigate the world of utility rates to find the best deal for you. Our goal is always to ensure you have access to the best rates possible while never charging you anything upfront for our work. Instead, you only pay us if and when we find utility cost reduction opportunities.

Change the way you think about paying for power. Contact our team today and see how we can help lower your monthly electric and other utility bills.