calculator sitting on top of bill

What’s the average small business electricity bill?

From mechanics to milk bars, every business has one thing in common – energy bills. But every business is different, and so is their energy use – so working out if you’re paying the right amount for your energy isn’t as simple as asking the shop next door.

If you’re wondering whether you’re paying too much for your electricity, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve brought together the latest Canstar Blue research and takeaways from the ACCC’s June 2023 inquiry into the national electricity market to help you navigate your business power bill like, well, the professional that you are.

How much electricity do Australian SMEs use?

If you throw all types of industries into one big pot together, Australian small businesses use an average of 3,600 – 3,650 kWh of electricity per quarter. However, it’s a small group of heavy energy users dragging those figures skyward.

Electricity usage is specific to each business and there are quite a few variables to consider – things like the size of the business, operating hours, energy efficiency and overall power requirements all make a difference.

A book shop and a bakery might operate side-by-side, but their power bills are going to look very different. To generalise (in a more useful way) we’re going to compare offices with offices.

Average quarterly electricity bill for Australian SMEs

The average quarterly electricity spend for Australian small businesses was about $953 according to the most recent Canstar Blue data released in June 2023. Of those surveyed, Victorians had some of the lower business electricity bills at $741 per quarter.

State or Territory

Average Quarterly Electricity Bill (incl GST)







Note: This data was based off states and territories that reached the Canstar Blue respondent threshold – in this case only Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland were included. Your bills may vary significantly from the figures shown here.

What’s the biggest contributor to business power bills?

In a typical office environment, the top five electricity-users are:

  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Lighting
  • Tech
  • Refrigerators and dishwashers

If you’re looking for ways to trim down your electricity bill, investing in energy efficient options for these items can really pay off in the long run.

Which kinds of businesses use the most electricity in Australia?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the top two most electricity-intensive industries in Australia are:

  • Manufacturing used 52,461.4 GWh of electricity ($5378.3 million worth) per year
  • Mining used 23,424.90 GWh of electricity ($2638.1 million worth) per year

How to find the best energy plan for your business

The ACCC’s report from June 2023 had several interesting takeaways for small business owners – here’s our take on them.

1. Energy plans with conditional ‘discounts’ don’t always work out cheaper than plans without conditional discounts in the long run.

Another interesting insight was that plans advertised with conditional discounts don’t always work out cheaper for customers in the long run. When comparing plans, consumers were advised to use the reference price. It’s a benchmark that will give you the clearest indication of what you’re buying.

Pro tip: don’t get lured in by flashy discounts or if you just can’t resist a deal, be prepared to switch again as soon as that honeymoon period ends.

2. Claim any rebates you might be eligible for.

The Australian Government is partnering with state and territory governments to provide up to $3 billion in electricity bill relief for eligible households and small businesses in financial year 23/24. Make sure you claim what you’re eligible for.

Pro tip: small businesses can find what they need to know about rebates and concessions on our small business energy bill relief page.

3. Use an independent comparison tool to compare plans.

Depending on where your small business is based, consider using either Energy Made Easy or Victorian Energy Compare to weigh up your options. Both sites are unbiased and government run. They’re made to take the pain out of comparing energy plans.

Pro tip: obviously we’re a bit biased and would love you to consider joining Momentum. Why not check out our current market offers for small business and see how they stack up against your current deal? Our small business customers in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia also get notified on their bill when there are cheaper rates available.

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