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Firms and Households during the Pandemic: What Do We Learn from Their Electricity Consumption?

We analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on electricity consumption patterns. We highlight the importance of decomposing total electricity consumption into consumption by firms and by households to better understand the economic and social impacts of the crisis. While electricity demand by firms has fallen substantially, the demand by households has gone up. In particular, our focus is on Spain where, during the total lockdown, these effects reached –29% and +10% respectively, controlling for temperature and seasonality. While the electricity demand reductions during the second wave were milder, the demand by firms remained 5% below its normal levels. We also document a change in people’s daily routines in response to the stringency of the lockdown measures, as reflected in their hourly electricity consumption patterns.

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Keywords: Electricity demand, Economic Activity, COVID, Lockdowns

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.44.2.obov

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Published in Volume 44, Number 3 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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