Which Appliances Use the Most Electricity in Your Business?

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To get your quotes at lightening speed we need several key pieces of information which can all be found on your electricity bill. But by simply ticking this box, we can search ‘industry held data’ to get your meter number, electricity consumption and current energy supplier. This means that we can get you quick quotes without asking you to dig out all of your paperwork. This is personal data therefore we need you to allow us to access this information.
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    Guide Author

    James Longley

    Managing Director

    min read
    Last Updated March 8, 2023

    There’s a pretty good chance your business’ office is equipped with a variety of electrical appliances, whether it’s the PCs, printers and servers that allow your employees to work effectively on a daily basis, or the fridges, fans and air conditioning units that make the space a comfortable one to work in.

    Together, they all contribute to your business electricity consumption – which all adds to your annual bill. But what appliances use the most electricity in your workplace? In this guide, we’ll detail how to measure an appliance’s electricity consumption, electricity usage by appliance and also outline how you can reduce energy consumption in the office.

    How to Measure Electricity Usage by an Appliance in Your Workplace

    The easiest way to check the electricity usage of a specific appliance is by looking at its power rating. You’ll find most have a label that details how many watts (W) it uses – it’s usually featured on the appliance itself, a label attached to the power cable or a separate instruction manual.

    You may find this figure is given in kilowatts (kW) – which is equivalent to 1,000W. The wattage gives you the appliance’s electrical consumption when it’s in use.

    With this small bit of useful information, you can easily work out how much it’s going to cost to run. UK energy suppliers measure electrical consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and charge a unit price based on this. So, a kWh is a unit of electricity equivalent to the power consumption of 1,000W for one hour.

    Example:

    The unit cost charged by your supplier is 12.5p/ kWh. You run a 50W laptop for eight hours a day.

    To work out your appliance’s kWh consumption, you would divide the laptop’s wattage (50W) by the number of W in a kW (1,000)

    50 ÷ 1,000 = 0.05

    You’d then take your kW figure (0.05) and multiply it by your supplier’s unit cost (12.5) – this will tell you how much it costs to run your appliance for an hour.

    0.05 x 12.5 = 0.625

    Now, you have your hourly cost (0.625p). To get your daily cost, you’d simply multiply this figure by the number of hours the appliance is used in a day (8 hours).

    0.625 x 8 = 5

    During eights hour of use, in this demonstrative example, a laptop would cost 5p to run.

    How Much Energy Does an Air Conditioner Use?

    A typical air con unit will, on average, use anywhere between 500W to 4,000W an hour – depending on the size and model. This makes them by far and away the single most energy-hungry appliance in the office.

     

    How Much Electricity Does a Server Use?

    One server will, on average, use from 500W to 1,200W an hour. Unlike other pieces of office equipment, servers are designed to be switched off at the end of the working day. So, they can cost a huge amount to run – especially if your business has multiple servers.

     

    Do Projectors Use a Lot of Electricity?

    Modern projectors are made with energy efficiency very much at the forefront, and will on average use 300W an hour. If you have one in a meeting room, it’s worth considering that it can be more cost-effective to opt for a TV instead (the average TV uses 150W).

     

    How Much Electricity Does a Computer Use?

    Desktop computers typically use 60W and 300W per hour, on average. Why does consumption differ so variedly, you ask? There are so many models on the market and many factors that can influence your PC’s power consumption – including brand, model and technical specification.

     

    How Much Electricity Does a Computer Screen Use?

    Unsurprisingly, monitors are much less power intensive than computers. Typically, they use between 35W and 80W.

     

    How Much Energy Does a Printer Use?

    It depends on whether you have an inkjet or a laser printer – a running inkjet printer designed for commercial use will consume between 300W and 500W an hour, while a commercial laser printer when running will use up to 1,000W an hour.

    If you run a smaller business that does less printing, you may well have a typical home / desktop printer. If so, you’re likely to see a home inkjet printer consume between 30W and 50W an hour, and a home laser printer use between 300W and 550W an hour.

    Both will use considerably less when left on standby.

     

    How Much Electricity Does a Desk Fan Use?

    The average desk fan, relied on to keep employees happy and cool during spells of hot weather, uses about 50W of electricity each hour.

     

    How Much Electricity Does a Laptop Use?

    Laptops usually use about 50W when in use – this figure drops to around a third when placed on standby.

     

    How Much Electricity Does a Router Use?

    Broadband routers can use between 2W and 20W – it depends on the model. Also, the more devices you have connected to your office WiFi, the more power it’ll consume.

     

    How Much Electricity Does a Landline Phone Use?

    A cordless landline phone will use around 2W once it’s fully charged, and 3W during charging.

     

    How Much Electricity Does a Phone Charger Use?

    Charging a mobile phone requires around 5W, on average – making it one of the least energy-intensive appliances in the workplace.

     

    How Much Electricity Does a 3D Printer Use?

    They’re becoming more of a common sight in manufacturing businesses and design studios, but 3D printers are not as power intensive as you might assume. In fact, during the print process, the average 3D printer only uses between 50W and 150W.

    How to Save Energy in the Office

    Looking to cut your office’s electricity usage? Here are just four starting points.

    1. Turning off appliances when they’re not in use is a big help – just don’t switch them all off. Lights, computer monitors, desktop PCs, printers, etc. – all great candidates to switch off when you finish for the day.

    Broadband routers – less so. In fact, internet service providers (ISPs) have recommended users don’t do this, as it can signal to them that there’s a fault on the line and lead to a speed restriction being implemented.

    2. Switch to LED lighting. LED bulbs use a fraction of the power of standard lightbulbs. Plus, you could make further savings by installing timers and occupancy sensors alongside your lighting system. This means the lights will only be on when they need to be – cutting out any unnecessary usage.

    3. Consider more energy-efficient technology. When you need to upgrade your office kit, make sure you look out for models that have a better power rating. According to the Energy Saving Trust, laptops use around 65% less electricity over a year than desktop PCs , so making the switch could help your organisation make a significant long-term saving.

    4. Upgrade to an intelligent heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. With heating / cooling contributing such a significant amount to a business’s energy bills each year, having a smarter system could potentially help you reduce your bills in the long term.

    These systems can be automated to ensure temperatures within your office building never go above or below a certain point. They’ve also been specifically designed to use less energy.

    Want to see whether your company could benefit from switching business electricity suppliers? You’re in the right place – Utility Bidder is here to help you find the best deal. Get instant and accurate pricing from the UK’s biggest energy suppliers by entering your business’s details into our price comparison tool at the top of this page .

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    Select Utility
    Now please select a utility I want to get prices for...
    Gas
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    Next
    Please enter your business gas information
    How much do you spend & how often?

    An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

    Go Back
    Get Prices

    Let’s save time, can we automatically gather meter information?

    ? What does this mean?
    To get your quotes at lightening speed we need several key pieces of information which can all be found on your electricity bill. But by simply ticking this box, we can search ‘industry held data’ to get your meter number, electricity consumption and current energy supplier. This means that we can get you quick quotes without asking you to dig out all of your paperwork. This is personal data therefore we need you to allow us to access this information.
    Go Back

    Do you know your electric meter number?

    Does your meter number end in any of the following?

    Go Back
    Enter meter number
    I don’t know
    Please enter your business electricity information
    How much do you spend & how often?

    An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

    Start date for a new contract?
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    Please enter your water information
    How much do you spend & how often?

    An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

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