The impact of COVID-19 reactions on electric load: An update after six months

The impact of COVID-19 reactions on electric load: An update after six months

This Insights follows up on two prior analyses, conducted one and two months into the COVID-19 crisis, in which we reviewed data illustrating the impact of COVID-19 on electric demand across different market regions. Here, we refresh our analysis to include data through September 2020 and, using the same high-level analytical approach, review how electric load patterns have evolved six months into the coronavirus pandemic.

Examining trends from New York, California, and England and Wales, we observe lingering demand destruction caused by pandemic response efforts, though the severity of load reductions seems to have abated since the early months of the pandemic. In some geographies, we observe that electric load appears to have recovered to the degree that a more sophisticated analysis would be required to determine whether observed year-over-year variation is a result of COVID-19 or other factors. We close by highlighting several areas that we expect to affect stakeholders in the electric utility space, particularly in light of the ongoing nature of the pandemic.

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