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What Industries Consume the Most Energy?

In a world with escalating energy demands, understanding the sectors that consume the most energy is vital. Identifying them helps us explore avenues for energy efficiency. Keep reading to gain valuable insights into the industries dominating the energy landscape.

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Which Industries Consume the Most Electricity?

The following industries are responsible for consuming the most electricity. Do note that this is based on annual consumption figures of UK-based organisations:

Food, drink, and tobacco manufacturing

The food, drink, and tobacco sector is highly diverse and plays a crucial role in the economy.

Production facilities for these goods are large. They also have an extensive network of business utilities and automated machinery that operates throughout the year. The result of this is a sector with an incredibly large and unwavering energy demand.

Mineral products manufacturing

Mineral products manufacturing has an important role in the economy, not just in the UK but globally. Given the scale, diversity, and processes, it’s unsurprising that this sector consumes large amounts of energy.

Mineral plants operate throughout the day. This further reinforces the significant energy demand associated with the industry.

Printing and publishing

The offices in this sector are like that of corporate environments. Their operations need central heating systems, computer banks, lighting fixtures, and other appliances. Despite this, energy typically only increases during the printing phase.

While print media isn’t as popular as it once was, this sector still relies heavily on energy resources to print millions of documents.

Mechanical engineering

In this field, analysis, prototype development, and the oversight of construction are huge components. Given that most of this work is non-physical, the business energy needs of this sector are relatively modest. Also, mechanical engineering is seen as a niche sector with a considerably smaller workforce.


The sheer size of the agricultural sector leads people to overestimate the amount of business energy it uses. When one considers the many acres of land on a farm, only a few machines will be used to cultivate it. This means less business energy is being used.

Despite this, it can’t be ignored that farms have large business premises with a multitude of energy-sapping facilities. How much energy a farm requires also primarily depends on the nature of its produce.

Iron, steel, and metal manufacturing

While it’s unsurprising to most to find this sector here, what’s surprising is that it doesn’t consume as much energy as the ones mentioned above.

This domain’s lower energy consumption is because of the use of large machinery that’s designed to be energy efficient. Most energy is used during the initial phase of the manufacturing process, particularly when melting ore. But, businesses need less energy in the later stages of casting and form.

The Top 4 Industries That Consume the Most Energy

Here are the industries that consume the most energy in the UK:

  1. Commercial and miscellaneous services

    The commercial and miscellaneous services sector is the leading consumer of electricity in the UK. It has an annual consumption of just under 170,000 MWh.

    This collective term encompasses a wide range of private businesses offering professional services. For example, nationwide estate agents and small businesses with one employee.

    In this sector, there are thousands of businesses that use inefficient machinery and appliances. Most of these types of machines are typically found in public administration settings. While these enterprises play a crucial role in driving the UK economy, they contribute to the highest level of energy consumption.

  2. Public administration

    In this instance, public administration refers to a wide range of departments. These departments install public policies, manage administration, and train civil servants.

    This sector is in second position because of the many public administration offices ad their energy usage patterns. Unlike large manufacturing plants, public administration offices often aren’t equipped with energy-efficient machinery. They also tend to lack teams and specialised resources dedicated to energy conservation.

    Entities in this sector operate from multi-storey buildings. These buildings are filled with inefficient machines like computers and air conditioning units. They also need a controlled temperature environment and lights are typically kept on throughout the day.

  3. Manufacturing and industrial services

    Apart from the next sector, this domain includes all other manufacturing and industrial services across the UK. This encompasses a range of businesses involved in the production of a wide array of products.

    The scope of this sector is extensive, from small businesses operating out of garages to those with a nationwide presence. This sector is in the third spot because of the sheer number of businesses within the category.

  4. Chemical manufacturing

    The chemical manufacturing sector has a key role in transforming raw materials into a diverse range of products for various uses. This involves employing processes such as thermal cracking and distillation.

    There are three main reasons why chemical manufacturing always ranks high on similar lists. Firstly, the processes in this sector are highly energy-intensive. Secondly, chemical manufacturing plants are usually large and complex with many intricate components.

    Lastly, these plants operate continuously, all year long, thus meaning they incur both large energy and operating costs.

Business Energy comparison

Unfortunately, there are very few details on which particular company uses the most business electricity in the UK. But, according to a 2022 publication, Samsung is the company consuming the most business electricity. This was measured on a global scale and within the tech sector, at over 25 million megawatt-hours.

Consumption varies greatly across industries and records are not always 100 percent accurate. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much energy specific businesses use. As is which business uses the most.

When estimating how much energy a business consumes, the best approach is to go according to the general industry estimations.

Find the Best Energy Deal With Business Energy Comparison

If you’re ready to find the best energy deal for your business, then take action now by partnering with Business Energy Comparison. Whether you’re running a place of worship (like a church or mosque) or a busy restaurant, our team of business electricity and gas experts are on standby. They can help you unlock potential savings and optimise your energy expenses.

Don’t let high energy costs hold you back. Get in touch with us now so we can help you find cost-effective and sustainable energy solutions for your business.

Start your journey and compare business gas and electricity rates with Business Energy Comparison today. Use our price comparison tool and in less time than it takes to make a brew, we’ll compile your best prices from the UK’ s best suppliers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What uses the most electricity in a restaurant?

The refrigerators, ventilation systems, and ovens, consume the most electricity in a restaurant. Do note energy usage depends on the size of the restaurant, the type of cuisine being served, and general operational practices. So, you’ll need to compare restaurant energy prices to have a better understanding of your own.

Is Utility Warehouse energy cheaper?

Whether Utility Warehouse energy is cheaper than other energy suppliers depends on many factors. The primary factors are your location, how much energy your business requires, and market conditions.

To see if Utility Warehouse can offer you a cheaper business energy supply, compare their prices with other energy suppliers.

How can I reduce my business energy bills?

Here are a few ways to reduce your energy bills:

  • Upgrade your equipment – Invest in modern equipment that is energy efficient. Most of this equipment will have energy-saving features.
  • Control resource usage – Ensure personnel don’t misuse resources. This could include hot water, lighting, and internal heating.
  • Invest in a smart meter – A smart meter offers better control and accurate meter readings. With one installed, you’ll have a better idea of your kWh of gas and electricity usage.

These strategies can help you save money, improve efficiency, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Is it easy to switch energy suppliers?

Yes, changing your energy supplier is generally a straightforward process in the UK. The speed and ease of the process can vary depending on the requirements of your business premises. Switching suppliers is made easier by ensuring you have the required documentation available. This is so a supplier doesn’t have to prompt for further information.

Who is the top business energy supplier in the UK?

British Gas is widely considered to be the top business energy supplier in the UK. But, many other names from the ‘Big Six,’ such as EDF and Octopus Energy, are also mentioned in the same vein. When looking for a business energy deal, bear in mind that the ‘top’ business energy supplier might not always be the most suitable for your business.