Where do commercial spaces spend most of their electricity?

Published on Feb 26, 2022

In the earlier blog, we looked at household energy consumption and its end-use %. Here, let us look at how commercial spaces behave in energy consumption terms.

Commercial spaces here include a plethora of businesses like offices, hotels, hospitals, co-working spaces and retail outlets.

The spaces with less than 50% air-conditioning behave similarly to a high-end household. For spaces more than 50% air-conditioned, which we usually see in today’s scenario, the behaviour completely changes.

Source: US EIA

Here’s a note by EIA which says “Compared to other nations, India is on a higher rate of increase in energy consumption with 2.7% increase annually on buildings. India’s commercial sector accounted for nearly 69% of the country’s GDP in 2015 and this share is expected to continue growing, leading to more energy demand in the commercial sector. EIA projects that total delivered commercial sector energy use in India will increase by an average of 3.4% per year — again, the fastest among developed and developing nations. India’s economic growth, rising income, and population growth are likely to increase the need for education, health care, leisure, recreation, and other services, which EIA expects will lead to an increase in demand for lighting, space cooling, and office equipment.”


%Share of end-use energy

Each sector as a whole consumes energy in a specific way (It might vary from space to space, we’ve tried to cover a generalist view here).

Co-working spaces and offices on average spend 60% of their energy on space-cooling/ HVAC, 10% on lighting and 30% on miscellaneous (elevators, servers, kitchen/refrigerators).

Hospitals usually spend about 50% of their energy on space-cooling, 30% on their medical equipment,10% on lighting and the other 10% on miscellaneous.

In retail, which includes shopping outlets and supermarkets, spend about 50-70% of their energy on air-conditioning, 20% on lighting & brand-display boards,10% on refrigeration and miscellaneous things.

For hotels, which include stay-in facilities consume anywhere between 50–60% of their bill on air-conditioning, 20% on kitchen, refrigeration & gathering facilities, 10% on lighting and the other 10% include miscellaneous like lifts, motors and computers.

Warehouses are springing up as e-commerce is spreading to the remotest parts of India. Such spaces are usually located on the outskirts of major cities and on the intercity expressways. Also, cold storage is now being included as part of the few warehouses. The facilities with cold storage have 30–40% of their energy bills on space cooling. Else, it is dominated by lighting and machinery, 70%. The remaining is consumed by the facilities which include the office rooms, work area & washrooms, water pumps and elevators.

Written by Zodhya

About Zodhya

We are Zodhya, a start-up that provides AI-based tech to reduce energy bills and lower emissions for commercial buildings and industries.