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27 Dec

The Top Highest Energy Consuming Industries In The UK


With a GDP of over $3 trillion, the UK produces a huge number of products and services. As such there are a wide range of industries working throughout the country, all of which contribute to the economy but also have an impact on the environment. Currently, the services industry dominates the UK economy, making up almost a third of our country’s GDP. The services sector is made up of retail, hospitality, professional services, business administration and finance businesses. Coming closely behind is the manufacturing industry which contributes so greatly to the economy that it currently places the UK as the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world.

With such large industries dominating the economy, it is no surprise that these industries are some of the largest energy consumers across our island nation. Below we have taken a closer look at just how much these industries rely on energy, reviewing their consumption figures and ranking them accordingly. Here are the top highest energy consuming industries in the UK.

1. Goods and services industry

As well as being the largest industry in the UK, the goods and services sector is also the largest consumer of energy in the UK. According to statistics from 2019, the industry which includes retail, used more than 14,000 Ktoe. Ktoe stands for kilotonnes of oil equivalent, which is a standardised measure of energy. This figure indicated that the goods and services industry made up for 15% of total energy consumption in the UK throughout the year 2019.

2. Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector is the second largest consumer of energy in the UK. Manufacturing businesses are responsible for producing products such as textiles, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals and more. As a result, this industry requires huge amounts of energy to power their production processes. This, therefore, should not come as a surprise to many. In 2018 the manufacturing industry used a huge 10,493 kilotonnes of oil equivalent energy throughout the year.

3. Public Administration

Another non-domestic sector of the country with high energy consumption rates is public administration. Those organisations working in public administration are responsible for carrying out the day-to-day duties of running a country and as such require massive amounts of energy to do so. Statistics from 2019 show that businesses and organisations in this sector used a total of 5,579 ktoe of energy.

Shifts in energy consumption in recent years

Although energy consumption still appears to be incredibly high amongst UK businesses, there has been an obvious decrease in the total energy consumption of such sectors in recent years. In a report created by the Department of Energy & Climate Change, statistics from between 2006 – 2012 were used to indicate the shift in energy consumption trends amongst non-domestic buildings used by businesses. A summary of the key facts and figures has highlighted that between these years the consumption of both electricity and gas fell by 12%. Noting the significant decline in usage in factories, restaurants and shops.

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