Small businesses play a huge role in the U.S. economy. Given their prominent role in the economy, small business energy use has major implications. These five statistics highlight why it’s important for small businesses to be equipped with cost-effective energy choices, personalized usage insights, and cutting-edge technology.

  • 28.2 million: According to the most recent statistics produced by the SBA, there were 28.2 million small businesses in the United States in 2011, making up the lion’s share of employers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

  • $60 billion: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s program, ENERGY STAR, estimates that U.S. small businesses collectively spend $60 billion on energy costs each year. However, depending on the building and business type, they could reduce their energy costs 10-30 percent with straightforward efficiency upgrades and small behavioral adjustments—and, most importantly, without sacrificing service or comfort.

  • Top 3: A survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) found that energy costs are a top-three business expense for more than one-third of the nation’s small businesses. Given that significant cost burden, it’s important for small businesses to have a range of energy options to help boost their bottom line, whether it’s fixed electricity rates that help protect them from seasonal price spikes or innovative technology, like the third generation Nest Learning Thermostat.

  • 19 percent: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) estimates that commercial buildings consume 19 percent of the nation’s electricity, with small businesses making up about half of that electricity use. Wireless Electricity Monitoring by Panoramic Power, which involves using wireless sensors and a cloud-based analytics platform to help identify energy waste down to the device, can empower businesses with real-time energy usage insights that help improve their overall operations.

  • More than half: Heating and lighting are estimated to make up more than half of small business energy use. The SBA estimates that—depending on building type—lighting alone accounts for 20 to 50 percent of a small business’s electricity consumption. Energy-efficient lighting, which includes halogen light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs), uses up to 80 percent less energy than conventional lighting while also lasting up to 25 times longer.