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  • Writer's pictureDimitrios Doukas

COVID-19 lockdown impact on residential energy usage per appliance

It’s no news that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily routines significantly. At NET2GRID we wanted to find out what was the real impact of the implemented lockdown in the energy sector and how this has affected end-users and energy suppliers so far.

Analysing a sample of anonymised data from 1000 European households we drew some interesting findings about end users’ energy behaviour as well as energy suppliers reactions to it.

*The analysis is based on a sample of 1000 anonymised European households that are using the NET2GRID energy insights solutions, pre and post the lockdown implementation. 

The smart meter data granularity is 1 to 10 seconds (real-time). 

The main categories that we looked at were: WM= washing machine, OV=oven, DW=dishwasher, EV= Electric Vehicles, LIG= lighting, ENT= entertainment. 

  • Energy behavioural patterns have changed. We have observed that at least one third of the end users tested have changed their behavioural patterns per appliance. For instance, the number of washing machine loads hasn’t changed significantly, but the events are more evenly distributed throughout the week. 

  • Activities have become more energy intensive. Normal household activities like cooking have increased in terms of number of events, but have also become more energy intensive. We monitored a shift from quick microwavable meals to longer cooking times and potential bigger meals, that made the cooking activity more energy intensive.

  • EV charging activity has dropped. It’s no surprise that between March / April 2020 the EV charging activity has decreased by over 60% compared to February 2020 (pre-lockdown). That’s easily explained by the decreasing car trips taken overall and the increased home working. 

Residential solar PV production and grid feed-in have increased. We have analysed both reactive PV production data and real-time grid feed-in measurements that show a significant increase in prosumers impact.

Air pollution has dropped 20-60% since road/air traffic and industrial activities have decreased dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. 

With the 90% drop of air traffic there are much less condensation stripes from airplanes, which will not reflect sun rays back into the sky anymore. Cleaner air quality combined with the favourable weather conditions in some countries, made the total sun hours more powerful and longer in duration that led to increased solar power generation compared to pre-COVID-19 at this time of year. (source Essent)

Energy consumption changes during the lockdown period by country

What does that mean for the energy suppliers and the energy system?

Our energy supplier partners are continuously using customer data and forecasts sourced by NET2GRID to respond to these challenging times. We helped our partners to: 

  • Optimise load planning by getting full visibility and understanding of their customers' changed energy consumption behaviours. Evenly distributed energy events in the households combined with low or now energy demand from the C&I sector, has overall pushed the peak demand down over the course of a day / week. Having access to solid data that draws these changing patterns has enabled our partners to proactively plan for changes in peak times and demand. 

  • Trigger customers to shift electricity intense activities. Through NET2GRID’s appliance level energy insights, energy suppliers were able to incentivise demand shifting via their own apps to times when green electricity was available at lower tariffs rate. In the UK for example, the overall electricity under-consumption combined with the overproduction of renewable energy has resulted in negative energy prices for specific time windows during the day. 

  • Enable digital communication and improve customer satisfaction. Operating with less customer support agents on-site, energy suppliers were facing a challenge to serve their customers. Using NET2GRID’s energy budgeting tool to inform customers on energy bill changes, has protected the customer relationship and eliminated the risk of a “bill shock”. We have also seen several energy suppliers unlocking new features of our platform, such as in-app bill payment, in order to facilitate remote bill payments. 

  • Through NET2GRID's energy insights services enabled by smart meter data, our energy supplier partners can dynamically adapt their user segmentation and marketing efforts. By building an effective 360º customer profile they can offer the right solutions to match their end-customer needs with personalised offerings. 

Please contact us if you want to find out more about our solutions and how we can bring value to your energy business.


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