The industries bearing the brunt of energy price shocks

Words by Zembl

The national energy crisis is putting pressure on Australian businesses, who are struggling to cope as rising prices and supply pressures take their toll on their operating budget.

But some businesses are set to feel the impact worse than others; for these industries in particular, shifting power consumption into the off peak hours could save them money on energy. 

If it’s possible and practical to shift energy usage, this may then impact wages costs if you need to adjust staffing levels, so it’s a balancing act for all businesses right now. Here’s the hardest hit industries that could benefit from an energy audit:


Factories, warehouses and industrial businesses run multiple heavy-duty machines and equipment every day, which is why the manufacturing industry typically consumes the most electricity. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), they collectively use around 52.4 billion kilo-watt hours (kWh) per year. By comparison, the average household uses around 5,500 kWh.


Mining operations suck up a lot of energy to operate, and at present only a tiny fraction of it (less than 4%) is derived from renewable energy. The industry as a whole is moving towards investing more deeply in renewable energy technologies, including large onsite solar PV and wind power arrays, but right now their heavy reliance on natural gas and grid electricity leaves them exposed to price hikes.

Hotels, high-rises and offices 

With lights that stay on all day (and all night), and temperature control in place to make the environment cooler or warmer year-round, these big office or hotel structures are huge consumers of energy. 

Restaurants and cafes  

Restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs and other hospitality venues are amongst the highest energy business consumers. This is due to all the power it takes to run appliances like fridges and freezers for food; commercial dishwashers and ice machines; plus lighting, heating and cooling.


A Queensland supermarket owner was recently left devastated when he calculated that this annual energy bill would almost quadruple, from $58,000 to $218,000. Retailers use energy for long periods of time to power lighting, heating and cooling, refrigeration and special equipment, so this industry is likely to experience an increase in energy costs.

Where to from here?

While the above industries are set to be hardest hit, it’s unlikely that any businesses will escape unscathed.

A new Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey into the national energy crisis found the current energy market is impacting 47% of companies. A staggering 51% were forecasting changing their business investments over the next two months as a result, while 79% were uncertain about forecasting costs and investments over the next 12 months.

VCCI Chief Executive Paul Guerra said all sectors of the business community, and not just heavy industries that used larger amounts of energy, were concerned.

“We need to explore all options to alleviate pressure on businesses in the short term, while looking at longer term solutions that will provide certainty and benefits for businesses, the economy and wider community,” Guerra said.

To minimise the impact that rising energy prices will have on your business, it’s essential that you engage and take notice of your energy usage and billing. The longer you delay reviewing your options, the more likely it is that you’ll pay too much. We support a range of SMEs, commercial and industrial businesses in various industries by helping them analyse their current energy needs and compare within the broader energy market to get the best value deal.

Contact us at Zembl for an obligation-free review to see if we can help your business optimise your energy usage and page a competitive price for your energy. Call us today on 1300 957 721.

Find your savings with a FREE Energy Review
Save time and attach a bill
Upload failed. Max size for files is 10 MB.

By providing your details you confirm you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Thank you!
Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.