The effect of COVID-19 on household energy demand

  • YEAR
    Crawford, Robert
    2020 Conference Papers
    Building, Tectonics & Energy; Design Education & Research; History & Theory in Architectural Science; Modes of Production & Mass Customization; Smart & Intelligent Cities
    Conference Papers


The emergence and global spread of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) at the beginning of 2020 changed the way we live our lives, including how and where we undertook our everyday activities. Strict lockdown rules, put in place to limit the spread of the virus, saw activity centres, workplaces and schools deserted, and homes become places of work and education. This shift led to a reduction in energy demand for many businesses. However, much of this energy demand transferred to households with most householders occupying their houses for most of the day, leading to increased use of heating, cooling, lighting and appliances, such as computers. This study analyses the total energy usage data for a household in Melbourne, Australia to explore the possible effect of the COVID-19-related lockdown on the household’s energy demand. Energy usage data was sourced from energy bills and the electricity distributor. Data associated with the period where all householders were working and studying solely at home (March to June 2020) were compared to six years of historical energy usage data for the same time period. The analysis shows a 26% increase in household energy demand. This also hasimplications for household finances.

Keywords: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2; COVID-19; energy; household; Australia.


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