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Chart of the Week

2020

Demand returning to normal?

Tom Edwards Senior Modelling Consultant

At the beginning of the week, 15 June, non-essential business was allowed to open. This follows a removal of lockdown restrictions which have meant many more people returning to work, how have these changes affected electricity demand? In April weekday estimates of final electricity demand were down 16.3% compared to similar periods in April 2019, this moved to 13.6% in May 2020 compared to weekdays in May 2019. Weekends were also similarly affected with April 2020 weekend demand down an average 12.7% compared to weekends in April 2019, and the difference for weekends in May 2020 was 10.6% compared to weekends in May 2019. This trend has continued with June 2020 (to date) weekdays down 11.0% compared to June 2019 and June 2020 weekends down 6.3% compared to their 2019 counterparts. Another change has been the distribution of demand, in April and May the biggest differences in consumption of power occurred in the morning between 7am and 8am. This was caused by an increase in home working as fewer workers were commuting and were therefore consuming power later in the morning. This also seems to have changed with the pattern of electricity demand now much closer to its pre-lockdown state. The chart below compares Tuesday 16 June demand to the average difference in demand profile between the start of lockdown and early June. The dark green line is the 16 June, The Blue area is the range of weekday differences across the lockdown period and the dotted blue line is the weekday average. Our chart shows the difference in a weekday in June is now much closer to last year ...

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