When asked about what items in your life use energy, you might think of objects in your home, such as bedroom lights, ceiling fans, refrigerators, and ovens. You might not immediately think of all that energy from the other places you visit on a regular basis. In fact, commercial buildings that people frequent every day—grocery stores, restaurants, offices, warehouses, and retail shops, just to name a few—all use a significant amount of energy to run their daily operations.

To evaluate energy use, the Energy Department calculates source energy, which represents the total amount of energy required to run the building, including energy generation and transmission. It’s generally considered the most equitable way to compare the energy efficiency of buildings to each other.

Of the more than 6 million commercial buildings in the U.S., the Energy Department collects data on 130,000 sites and has found they use an average energy use of 207,000 British thermal units per square foot per year. Compare that to residential locations and our homes don’t even come close to energy use: Among 723,000 residential buildings with reported data, the average energy use is 67,000 BTUs per square foot per year.

The efficiency of a commercial building, measured in energy used per square foot of space, will vary based on many factors. Like residential buildings, the type of windows, insulation, HVAC systems, and more can change how much energy is needed to keep a building running. Commercial building operators also have to consider the type of mechanical or industrial equipment in use, the number of hours that the building is occupied, and whether the building houses materials that must be kept under specific environmental conditions. All of these aspects and more can change the energy necessary to allow the building to perform its function.

To learn more about your state’s commercial energy use, LED Lighting Supply compiled a list of the states that use the most commercial energy per building using data from the Building Performance Database from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. States are ranked by average source energy use intensity and ties are broken by the total number of commercial-use buildings in the database.

Find An Excellent Selection of Commercial LED Lights

LED Lighting Supply offers a large selection of LED Lights including High Bay LED Lights, LED flood lights and LED Warehouse Lights to name a few. Free Lighting Plans available for all our commercial and industrial customers.

South Dakota
Hank Shiffman // Shutterstock

#51. South Dakota

206 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 140K BTUs per square feet per year

22 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 484K BTUs

26 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 139K BTUs

14 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 106K BTUs

Vermont

Canva

#50. Vermont

126 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 166K BTUs per square feet per year

0 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 0K BTUs

22 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 142K BTUs

44 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 133K BTUs

Iowa

Canva

#49. Iowa

1,481 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 169K BTUs per square feet per year

91 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 410K BTUs

213 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 150K BTUs

161 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 168K BTUs

Washington DC

Canva

#48. Washington D.C.

3,257 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 174K BTUs per square feet per year

81 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 610K BTUs

82 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 204K BTUs

1,139 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 157K BTUs

Montana

Canva

#47. Montana

277 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 178K BTUs per square feet per year

25 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 483K BTUs

46 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 145K BTUs

36 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 125K BTUs

Rhode Island

Canva

#46. Rhode Island

159 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 182K BTUs per square feet per year

21 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 531K BTUs

36 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 145K BTUs

36 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 144K BTUs

Virginia

Canva

#45. Virginia

4,346 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 185K BTUs per square feet per year

377 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 533K BTUs

386 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 167K BTUs

886 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 190K BTUs

California

Canva

#44. California

30,067 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 185K BTUs per square feet per year

2,596 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 716K BTUs

4,024 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 151K BTUs

8,063 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 142K BTUs

Colorado

Lauren Orr // Shutterstock

#43. Colorado

5,103 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 186K BTUs per square feet per year

504 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 497K BTUs

323 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 161K BTUs

1,221 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 164K BTUs

Georgia

ESB Professional // Shutterstock

#42. Georgia

4,213 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 189K BTUs per square feet per year

435 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 599K BTUs

348 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 162K BTUs

1,504 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 163K BTUs

Kentucky

Canva

#41. Kentucky

1,819 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 190K BTUs per square feet per year

223 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 572K BTUs

240 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 197K BTUs

139 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 139K BTUs

Oregon

Jess Kraft // Shutterstock

#40. Oregon

2,690 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 190K BTUs per square feet per year

249 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 629K BTUs

215 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 134K BTUs

567 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 165K BTUs

West Virginia

Canva

#39. West Virginia

334 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 191K BTUs per square feet per year

60 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 409K BTUs

49 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 184K BTUs

70 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 162K BTUs

New York

Gagliardi Photography // Shutterstock

#38. New York

11,570 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 193K BTUs per square feet per year

559 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 674K BTUs

1,188 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 192K BTUs

3,310 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 168K BTUs

Wyoming

Canva

#37. Wyoming

218 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 194K BTUs per square feet per year

25 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 444K BTUs

22 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 121K BTUs

37 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 155K BTUs

Delaware

Canva

#36. Delaware

397 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 194K BTUs per square feet per year

14 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 584K BTUs

97 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 181K BTUs

109 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 243K BTUs

New Hampshire

Canva

#35. New Hampshire

226 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 199K BTUs per square feet per year

32 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 475K BTUs

92 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 145K BTUs

40 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 223K BTUs

New Mexico

Canva

#34. New Mexico

749 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 200K BTUs per square feet per year

111 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 464K BTUs

79 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 139K BTUs

112 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 174K BTUs

Minnesota

Sandra Burm // Shutterstock

#33. Minnesota

2,673 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 200K BTUs per square feet per year

229 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 635K BTUs

332 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 144K BTUs

820 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 160K BTUs

Wisconsin

Canva

#32. Wisconsin

1,337 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 201K BTUs per square feet per year

184 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 520K BTUs

249 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 157K BTUs

219 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 158K BTUs

Texas

Roschetzky Photography // Shutterstock

#31. Texas

7,606 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 203K BTUs per square feet per year

1,029 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 576K BTUs

676 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 162K BTUs

2,264 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 168K BTUs

Maryland

eurobanks // Shutterstock

#30. Maryland

4,245 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 206K BTUs per square feet per year

236 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 604K BTUs

607 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 203K BTUs

1,015 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 195K BTUs

Arizona

Brandon Burris // Shutterstock

#29. Arizona

2,261 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 209K BTUs per square feet per year

382 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 546K BTUs

218 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 159K BTUs

564 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 162K BTUs

Maine

Canva

#28. Maine

201 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 212K BTUs per square feet per year

36 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 504K BTUs

51 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 146K BTUs

29 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 139K BTUs

Mississippi

Canva

#27. Mississippi

376 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 214K BTUs per square feet per year

95 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 419K BTUs

41 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 173K BTUs

60 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 206K BTUs

Massachusetts

Canva

#26. Massachusetts

3,953 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 214K BTUs per square feet per year

195 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 656K BTUs

383 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 156K BTUs

1,370 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 182K BTUs

Looking for Commercial Lighting for your Parking Lot? We have commercial grade LED Parking Lot Lights for sale. 1000’s in stock – ready to ship.

Washington

Max Lindenthaler // Shutterstock

#25. Washington

5,055 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 214K BTUs per square feet per year

534 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 617K BTUs

475 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 189K BTUs

1,223 office buildings
 –  Average energy use for offices: 164K BTUs

Kansas

Canva

#24. Kansas

483 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 215K BTUs per square feet per year

117 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 458K BTUs

79 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 157K BTUs

71 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 169K BTUs

Pennsylvania

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#23. Pennsylvania

4,502 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 219K BTUs per square feet per year

497 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 601K BTUs

969 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 193K BTUs

875 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 177K BTUs

Nebraska

Canva

#22. Nebraska

333 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 220K BTUs per square feet per year

61 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 446K BTUs

54 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 152K BTUs

68 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 169K BTUs

Utah

Jason Finn // Shutterstock

#21. Utah

989 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 223K BTUs per square feet per year

171 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 683K BTUs

91 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 130K BTUs

152 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 162K BTUs

Connecticut

Canva

#20. Connecticut

577 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 227K BTUs per square feet per year

88 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 679K BTUs

175 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 155K BTUs

133 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 159K BTUs

Oklahoma

TLF Images // Shutterstock

#19. Oklahoma

612 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 228K BTUs per square feet per year

147 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 477K BTUs

102 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 154K BTUs

93 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 157K BTUs

Illinois

Diego Mariottini // Shutterstock

#18. Illinois

5,478 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 229K BTUs per square feet per year

591 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 633K BTUs

654 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 177K BTUs

1,732 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 176K BTUs

Alaska

Marc Cappelletti // Shutterstock

#17. Alaska

79 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 230K BTUs per square feet per year

19 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 463K BTUs

10 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 159K BTUs

13 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 121K BTUs

Hawaii

Canva

#16. Hawaii

408 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 230K BTUs per square feet per year

53 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 880K BTUs

28 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 234K BTUs

88 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 151K BTUs

New Jersey

Canva

#15. New Jersey

1,685 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 233K BTUs per square feet per year

158 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 637K BTUs

619 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 193K BTUs

462 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 186K BTUs

Michigan

Gary R Ennis Photos // Shutterstock

#14. Michigan

2,183 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 233K BTUs per square feet per year

378 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 660K BTUs

518 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 180K BTUs

463 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 151K BTUs

Missouri

Paul Brady Photography // Shutterstock

#13. Missouri

1,427 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 234K BTUs per square feet per year

247 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 628K BTUs

209 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 164K BTUs

209 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 184K BTUs

Ohio

Canva

#12. Ohio

3,313 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 242K BTUs per square feet per year

541 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 606K BTUs

761 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 196K BTUs

895 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 167K BTUs

North Carolina

Kevin Ruck // Shutterstock

#11. North Carolina

2,866 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 244K BTUs per square feet per year

590 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 627K BTUs

429 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 162K BTUs

822 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 161K BTUs

Florida

FotosForTheFuture // Shutterstock

#10. Florida

4,412 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 249K BTUs per square feet per year

750 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 691K BTUs

743 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 177K BTUs

1,282 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 167K BTUs

Louisiana

Canva

#9. Louisiana

437 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 251K BTUs per square feet per year

148 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 471K BTUs

60 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 173K BTUs

72 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 147K BTUs

North Dakota

Canva

#8. North Dakota

106 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 259K BTUs per square feet per year

22 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 497K BTUs

26 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 156K BTUs

27 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 177K BTUs

Idaho

Canva

#7. Idaho

401 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 263K BTUs per square feet per year

57 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 528K BTUs

72 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 160K BTUs

67 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 246K BTUs

Arkansas

Canva

#6. Arkansas

335 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 278K BTUs per square feet per year

127 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 452K BTUs

64 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 164K BTUs

38 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 160K BTUs

Nevada

Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

#5. Nevada

766 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 287K BTUs per square feet per year

194 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 578K BTUs

101 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 174K BTUs

146 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 159K BTUs

Indiana

Canva

#4. Indiana

1,682 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 293K BTUs per square feet per year

481 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 657K BTUs

370 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 179K BTUs

225 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 163K BTUs

Alabama

Canva

#3. Alabama

790 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 315K BTUs per square feet per year

222 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 700K BTUs

169 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 183K BTUs

80 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 159K BTUs

Tennessee

Nolichuckyjake // Shutterstock

#2. Tennessee

1,616 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 315K BTUs per square feet per year

395 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 749K BTUs

230 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 168K BTUs

378 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 167K BTUs

Looking for Factory or Manufacturing Plant Lighting? We have a full line of Commercial Grade and Industrial Grade lighting for Factories or Manufacturing Plants.

South Carolina

Canva

#1. South Carolina

925 commercial buildings in database
– Average energy use for commercial: 323K BTUs per square feet per year

253 food sales, food service, and grocery store buildings
– Average energy use for food: 834K BTUs

132 retail and service buildings
– Average energy use for retail: 144K BTUs

97 office buildings
– Average energy use for offices: 167K BTUs

About the Author

Emilia Ruzicka is a data journalist and designer. They graduated from Brown University in 2021 and are now a data reporter for Stacker. Their work has been featured in Nightingale, RVA Magazine, the Brown Political Review, and more.