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Did you know the average small office in the Midwest spends over $11,000 per year on electricity and natural gas?  Bundling upgrades and saving on improvements is easier than ever with the Small Business Express program, which connects you with qualified contractors and rebates to create lasting energy efficiency savings for your office.

What uses the most energy in small offices

The following pie charts illustrate what small office activities use the most energy and cost the most. Space heating, cooling and ventilation, and computing account for the largest portion of energy use in offices.  Electricity end uses include (from the top, counterclockwise): 3% space heating, 16% miscellaneous, 21% computing, 6% office equipment, 3% refrigeration, 17% lighting, 24% ventilation and 9% space cooling. Natural gas end uses include (from the top, counterclockwise): 2% miscellaneous, 3% water heating and 95% space heating.  

Electricity End Uses

Small Office Electricity Usage breakdown

Natural Gas End Uses

Small Office Gas Usage breakdown

What's costing offices the most 

End Uses Average Electric Cost/Month Average Gas Cost/Month Energy Savings Potential
Space Heating, Cooling and Ventilation $296 $147
Computing and Office Equipment $222 -
Lighting $140 -
Small Business Express is here to lend a hand
Small Business Express makes it easy for you to get professional guidance to identify energy-saving opportunities. Eligible rebates can help lower your out-of-pocket cost to replace failing equipment, and help you save energy and money long term.

Ways to Save

gray icon of a space heater
Space Heating, Cooling and Ventilation 
Heating and cooling equipment is one of the largest energy users in offices. By upgrading the heating and cooling equipment, your office staff will see improvements in comfort.  
  • Simple: Seal around windows and doors with new caulk and weather stripping every few years to prevent energy loss and maintain comfort. 
  • Low cost: Install programmable thermostats to reduce heating and cooling load outside of office hours. Schedule regular tuneups for air conditioners, furnaces and boilers to ensure systems are working correctly. Add insulation to ensure cool or warm air stays inside after sealing windows and doors.
  • Capital investment: Replace heating and cooling equipment with new energy-efficient equipment.  
computer icon
Computing and Office Equipment
Computing and office equipment accounts for over a quarter of an office’s monthly costs. There are several simple upgrades that can be implemented for energy savings.  
  • Simple: Manage the computer network to ensure computers go into low-power or “sleep” mode after a period of inactivity. Turn off and unplug electronic equipment when not in use to prevent unnecessary power usage. 
  • Low cost: Install advanced power strips, which detect a drop in energy usage, and turn off electronics when your staff has left for the day.
  • Capital investment: Upgrade to ENERGY STAR certified models when replacing equipment.
LED Light Bulb gray icon
Lighting is another large energy user for offices. Lighting alone typically costs $140 per month.
  • Simple: Turn lights off when a space is not in use.
  • Low cost: Install occupancy sensors to turn lights off for areas where lights might be left on for extended periods, despite not being occupied. Areas with good opportunity for installing occupancy sensors include bathrooms, storage areas, conference rooms and break rooms.
  • Capital investment: Replace fluorescent lights with LEDs to see savings of up to 50%! LEDs also have a longer lifespan resulting in reduced replacement costs. Replace exterior lights with LEDs to save even more.
Two men in vests and hard hats looking at an energy management system in the control room of a building

See how your small office compares 

Energy Use Intensity (EUI) is a common measure used to benchmark a building’s energy use as a factor of its size. To calculate EUI for your office, total your electric bills for one year, then divide by your building’s square footage; repeat for natural gas. If the score is lower than those listed below, you are using less energy than most.
Average EUI for Small Offices in the Midwest
Natural Gas
12.0 kWh/square foot
0.35 therms/square foot
Call us today at 800-432-8583 to learn about tools that can help you with benchmarking your facility. 
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