Electricity demand in residential homes during COVID-19
April 16, 2020
As Ontarians settle into new home routines, residential electricity demand patterns have also changed to reflect these new habits.
Ontarians are spending more time then ever at home since the closure of schools and non-essential businesses, and work-from-home measures began. Many homes that were quiet throughout the day are now seeing computers booted up, stoves and microwaves turned on, and TVs running in the background. People are watching movies and eating at home, instead of heading out to cinemas or restaurants. Although total demand for electricity in the province is down, preliminary data shows consumption in single-use residential homes has increased on weekdays by about 5 per cent. Changes on weekends have so far been minimal.
Looking deeper into weekday data, the morning ramp has become slower, as people now start their days later. “Morning” peak used to be at about 8 a.m., but now occurs around 1 p.m. The core hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. shows on average 14 per cent more electricity use than usual. As nighttime comes, electricity use reverts back to a more normal pattern as Ontarians go about their usual routines.