Abstract With China’s continuing economic growth, the percentage of government offices and large commercial buildings has increased tremendously; thus, the impact of their energy usage has grown drastically. In this survey, a database with more than 400 buildings was created and analyzed. We researched energy consumption by region, building type, building size and vintage, and we determined the total energy use and performed end use breakdowns of typical buildings in six cities in southern China. The statistical analysis shows that, on average, the annual building electricity use ranged from 50 to 100kWh/m2 for office buildings, 120 to 250kWh/m2 for shopping malls and hotels, and below 40kWh/m2 for education facilities. Building size has no direct correlation with building energy intensity. Although modern commercial buildings built in the 1990s and 2000s did not use more energy on average than buildings built previously, the highest electricity intensive modern buildings used much more energy than those built prior to 1990. Commercial buildings in China used less energy than buildings in equivalent weather locations in the US and about the same amount of energy as buildings in India. However, commercial buildings in China provide comparatively less thermal comfort than buildings in comparable US climates.