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Save Money on Car Wash Energy Costs Today

If you run a car wash, then your biggest expense is probably your business electricity rates and business gas prices. Car washes use a lot of energy, and it can be hard to think of ways to reduce this.

Don’t worry; that’s where we come in.

We’ve put together this useful guide to help you cut your car wash’s energy usage and bring down the cost of your energy bills.

So, let’s get started!

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In the UK, there are four main types of car washing businesses. These are automatic car washes, self-service car washes, full-service car washes, and conveyor or tunnel car washes.

The type of business you run will determine how much energy it uses. So, let’s take a close look at the four different types.


Automatic car washes are generally found at petrol stations and supermarkets. This is because they don’t need much space, and they require far less labour than other types of car washes. They’re also known as in-bay car washes as you park your car in a bay while it’s cleaned by automatic equipment.

Conveyor or tunnel

A conveyor or tunnel car wash pulls your car through a tunnel on an automated conveyor belt. As your car passes through the tunnel, it’s cleaned and dried automatically.


A full-service car wash involves your car being washed by hand. These businesses also usually offer valeting services where they clean the inside of your car.


Self-service car washes provide equipment so that car owners can wash their cars themselves. The machines are often coin-operated and usually have a vacuum so that you can hoover the interior of your car.

Design Elements

Energy Saving Tips For Car Washes

Running a car wash was already expensive, and as energy prices have soared, it’s only become more costly. Gas and electricity costs have increased greatly making it hard to sustain a car washing business. Fortunately, there are some steps that car wash business owners can take in order to make their businesses more energy efficient and reduce the cost of their bills.

Upgrade your lighting

Many car wash owners overlook lighting when they’re thinking of ways to reduce energy usage. Yet, this is often one of the biggest sources of electricity usage in a car wash. If your business still uses incandescent light bulbs, then replace them with LED ones.

Implement water recycling systems

Water recycling systems are an excellent way to reduce the amount of water your business uses during the car washing process. Rather than being wasted, water is re-used to wash other cars.

Use more energy-efficient equipment

If you run an automatic car wash, a self-service car wash, or a manual car wash, you should use equipment that’s as efficient as possible. Using high-pressure washers that utilise variable speed controls is a great way to reduce water usage.

By using equipment with a high level of energy efficiency, you’ll also reduce the carbon footprint of your business.

Use solar power

Another great way of reducing your energy usage is to install solar panels. These will convert energy from the sun into electricity that you can use for your car wash. This reduces the amount of electricity you need to use from the grid and will make your business more eco-friendly.

Try a power management system

Implement a power management system which automatically switches off lights, heating and cooling systems, and other equipment when it’s not in use.

Teach your staff about energy efficiency

Train your staff on the ways they can help the business to use less energy.

Maintain your cooling and heating systems

You need to properly maintain your cooling and heating systems. If they’re running efficiently, it’ll help to bring down your electricity and gas consumption.

Average Electricity Consumption For Car Washes

The electricity consumption levels of your business will vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the types of car wash equipment it uses and how busy your business is. If you’re washing a hundred cars a day, then your business will be using far more electricity than a much quieter car wash.

Your electricity usage will also largely depend on which type of car washing business you run. There are big differences in overall energy consumption between an automatic car wash and a self-service or full-service car wash. However, automatic and tunnel or conveyor car washes tend to use a similar amount of electricity.

One of the biggest things that will affect the amount of electricity your business uses is its size. Small, medium and large professional car washes have massively different energy bills from each other.

Let’s say you run a medium-sized self-service car wash business that uses electric pressure washers. Generally, electric pressure washers have a range of 1500 to 3000 watts. A 3000-watt electric pressure washer uses around 3kWh of electricity each hour. So, that would be around 90kWh of electricity each month and around 1,080 kWh in a year.

Busy automated car washes can easily use between 200 to 400kWh of electricity in a month. So, as you can see, your car wash energy and utilities are greatly impacted by the type of business you operate.

The best way to save money on your energy bills is to compare business electricity rates and suppliers. This way, you can assess your options and choose the deal that’s right for you.

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Natural gas usage also differs hugely between different car wash businesses. If your business has a large indoor area that needs to be heated, then it’ll use a lot more gas than a business with a small or absent indoor area.

This usage could be greatly reduced through the adoption of various energy-saving measures, such as better insulation.

Another way to reduce your gas bill is to compare different suppliers. You’ll be able to see what types of deals are on offer and choose the cheapest option.

Design Elements

Average Water Consumption For Car Washes

As with both electricity and gas consumption, the amount of water your car wash uses depends on multiple factors. The equipment that’s used, the size of the business, and how busy it is will all reduce or increase water consumption.

For example, large commercial car washes are very prevalent in the car wash industry. One of these businesses using high-pressure nozzles could use about 100 gallons of water per minute. That means it would use 1,000 gallons of water within ten minutes and 6,000 gallons of water within an hour.

A business with a different car wash process, such as a full-service car wash, would use far less water than this.

What Factors Impact Energy Use In Car Washes?

Besides the size and type of your car wash, there are a number of other factors that also affect energy use. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest culprits.

  • Building insulation: If your business premises are poorly insulated then you’ll be wasting a lot of energy. You should ensure that your business is properly insulated and has double-glazed windows. This will reduce heat loss in the winter and means you’ll need to use a lot less gas.
  • Water heating: The method used to heat water, such as electric or gas-fired boilers, has an impact on energy usage. The temperature and flow rate of the water also has an effect.
  • Lighting: The type of lighting your business uses and the time and duration of use also have a big impact on overall electricity consumption.
  • Ventilation: Ventilation systems use a significant amount of energy. Using control systems and more efficient ventilation systems will help to reduce your energy usage.
  • Climate: The climate in your region can also affect your energy usage. For instance, if your business is based in northern Scotland, you may have to use more heating than a business based in the southwest of England.
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Compare Energy Suppliers For Your Car Wash

There are many things you can do to bring down the energy costs of your car wash. This could be upgrading your equipment, changing your light bulbs, or properly insulating your premises. However, the best way to save money on your bills is to compare the best business energy deals on the market.

Business Energy Comparison helps you to get free quotes in minutes and find the deal that’s best for your business.


There are many things you can do to bring down the energy costs of your car wash. This could be upgrading your equipment, changing your light bulbs, or properly insulating your premises. However, the best way to save money on your bills is to compare the best business energy deals on the market.

Business Energy Comparison helps you to get free quotes in minutes and find the deal that’s best for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a commercial car wash use more water to clean my car than if I clean it at home?

It seems logical that washing your car at home would use less water than taking it to a commercial car wash. However, commercial car washes that use efficient equipment actually use around 60% less water to clean a car than you would use at home.

This is because efficient car washes use water recycling systems. The two types they use are partial recycle systems and closed-loop systems. A closed-loop system recycles 100% of the water that’s used to wash a car.

Are there any government incentives for car washes to use equipment with high efficiency?

There are a number of government incentives in place to encourage car washes to use equipment with high-efficiency ratings. This includes:

  • The Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) Scheme: This allows you to claim 100% first-year capital allowances on investments in energy-saving equipment. This could be things like low-energy lighting, efficient boilers, and air compressors.
  • The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS): This scheme requires you to conduct regular energy audits of your business to identify where you can make energy savings. This helps you to better understand your energy usage and how to reduce it.