Energy consumption is an enormous topic in the news right now with there being so much focus on environmental damage and companies needing to become more eco-friendly. Some industries use a tremendous amount of energy for their operation and it is important that they find ways to be more efficient in order to reduce their impact and meet Government legislation.
In the entire UK in 2018, 142,724 kilotons of oil equivalent was consumed which was a 1.1% increase on the previous year and the highest amount of energy consumed since 2013. This largely came from transport (40%) following by domestic (29%), industry (16%) and services (15%). 51% of the energy was solid fuels, petroleum and bioenergy followed by natural gas (31%) and electricity 18%).
Here are a few of the sectors which consumed the most electricity in the UK in 2018.
Goods & Services
Good & services, which includes commercial and miscellaneous services, public administration and agriculture, accounted for 15% of the total energy consumption in 2018 with 67% of this coming from commercial and miscellaneous services. Electricity and natural gas were the main forms used apart from in agriculture where 71% came from other fuels.
Manufacturing & Industrial
Manufacturing and industrial businesses accounted for 16% of the total consumption in 2018. This consists of manufacturing and industrial services (17%), chemical manufacturing (16%), food, drink and tobacco manufacturing (14%), mineral products manufacturing (12%) and printing and publishing (8%) among a few others. The type of energy used in manufacturing and industrial is more balanced with electricity accounting for 35%, natural gas 40% and other fuels 25%.
The statistics show that total energy consumption has grown along with the consumption of natural gas, but there is also good news as alternative fuels like bioenergy increasing in all sectors. This is a trend that should continue in the coming years as there is an increasing amount of pressure being placed on the biggest energy-consuming brands and industries to take drastic action to reduce their environmental impact.
How a business can reduce their environmental impact will depend on the industry and the way in which they operate but there are a few effective strategies to try. This includes switching to energy-efficient power supplies, going paperless and using energy-efficient appliances. There are other steps to consider too, such as encouraging remote working, starting a carpool and/or encouraging staff to walk/cycle to work, and increasing recycling. The key in many industries is to change the culture so that staff are always thinking of ways in which they can be more environmentally-friendly, even it if it simply switching off the lights when leaving a room.
Energy consumption is at a high in the UK – this is somewhat attributed to the growing population, but there are also many sectors which consume an enormous amount of energy for their operation. It is important that action is taken to reduce environmental impact by businesses in these industries and renewable energy is a highly effective way to do this along with a few other energy-saving strategies.