According to “Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey,” a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration focusing on data accumulated through 2018, commercial buildings in the United States are getting larger. They commonly include features such as LED lighting and emerging technologies such as electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The report added that the number of U.S. commercial buildings grew 6% from 2012 to 2018, and their total floorspace increased by 11%.
There are about 5.9 million commercial buildings in the United States, and the report provides information about the number of buildings and floorspace by characteristics such as geographic region, building activity, size, age, employment, occupancy, energy sources used and energy-related equipment.
According to the EIA, important takeaways from the characteristics of commercial building include:
In 2018, more than 2.5 million commercial buildings used LED lights, which is five times the number of buildings that used them in 2012.
Larger commercial buildings were most likely to have EV charging stations, and more than one-third of buildings over 500,000 square feet had EV charging stations. The most likely types of commercial buildings to have them installed were lodging and service buildings.
Approximately 10% of commercial buildings and 30% of commercial floorspace could generate electricity. All inpatient healthcare buildings used technologies that generate electricity.
About 5% of commercial buildings used smart thermostats.
EIA will publish the raw data files for building characteristics in November and preliminary estimates of energy consumption and expenditures for electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and district heat in spring 2022.