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Impact of the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown on the residential electricity consumption

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kumar Biswajit DebnathORCiD


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Extreme disruptive scenarios such as pandemic lockdown force people to alter regular daily routines, impacting their energy consumption pattern. The implication of such a disruptive scenario for a more extended period on energy consumption is uncertain. This study aimed to investigate the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on residential electricity consumption in 100 houses from the southwestern UK. For the study, we analysed highly granular (1-minutely) electricity consumption data for April-September 2020 compared to the same months in 2019 for the same houses. Our study showed statistically significant differences during the lockdown period (the analysed six months) in energy demand. The minutely average electricity demand was 1.4-10% lower during April-September 2020 than in 2019. Our analysis showed that not all houses had similar type of changes during the lockdown. Some houses demonstrated a 38% increase in electricity demand, whereas some houses showed a 54% reduction during the lockdown period compared to 2019. Some houses showed significantly higher electricity use during the morning and afternoon than in 2019, which might be due to working and schooling from homes during the lockdown.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Debnath KB, Jenkins DP, Patidar S, Peacock A, McCallum P

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Building Simulation 2021

Year of Conference: 2021

Online publication date: 01/09/2021

Acceptance date: 01/09/2021

Publisher: International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA)