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COVID-19’s Impact on Household Energy Consumption

COVID-19’s Impact on Household Energy Consumption

COVID-19 has had a profound impact on many of our lives. From the way we’ve socialized, worked, and took care of people, COVID-19 became a daily obstacle for us in protecting ourselves. More importantly, it changed the way many industries worked – and had an immediate effect on energy consumption.

The household became a place where kids went to school, where parents and adults went to work, and with more people at home, household energy consumption obviously spiked to levels higher than ever before.

In this article, we will be explaining how much households who had already transitioned to solar energy have saved during last year’s lockdown and the nuances that came with it.

Australian Electricity Demand

Australia has become a hotbed for solar energy, and due to that – Australians experienced a price fall between 45%-48% during the lockdown for energy. On top of that, the Australian Energy Market Operator said that wholesale electricity and gas prices were at their lowest since 2014 and 2015.

The AEMO’s chief executive, Audrey Zibelman said that because of the high volume of residential and commercial properties transitioning to solar, Australia was experiencing new minimum records for operational demand.
There were also key measures being shown because of solar energy, such as:

  • Rooftop solar met 71% of South Australia’s total energy needs
  • Rooftop solar met 31% of Victoria’s total energy needs

In essence, as lockdown continued – solar energy and the lack of utilisation of utility grid energy led to a dramatic drop in electricity demand.
However, even with a drop in energy prices, one thing remained certain – that household energy consumption would grow by a staggering amount.

Solar-Panel-Site-InstallationChanges In Home Power Consumption

Although there hasn’t been a study conducted on Australian household power consumption during the Covid lockdown, there was one done in the United States.

What it showed was something that we all knew was going to happen, the large impact households would have on energy usage.

“Americans spent $6 billion more on at-home power consumption from April to July 2020 than during normal times, nearly offsetting a decline in business and industrial demand.”

As we have mentioned earlier, the home became a place where work was now conducted, and where kids would learn. Furthermore, with more people home during the winter and summer, heating and cooling systems would be put on maximum overdrive to keep household occupants cool and warm.

That was also not the only factor in higher energy consumption – because of all the lost jobs and unemployment benefits, more Americans were staying at home than ever before. With all those factors in place, even though there was an early offset of energy use – the surge of energy expenditure came like a tidal wave. This surge basically offset the amount of energy decline within the American commercial and industrial sectors.


How Much Are Homeowners in Australia Saving During Lockdown?

As we have shown earlier, about 71% of South Australia was powered by rooftop solar. So how much does solar energy save Australian homeowners during the lockdown?

Approximately 50% of their average energy costs and those energy costs were already reduced by 45%-48% due to the low usage rate via commercial and industrial property.

With the lowered pricing for energy, having rooftop solar power your home during the day comes with a huge boon in savings. All the energy that you use for working from home, alongside your children’s schooling, will effectively halve in cost by using solar power.

With that helping your energy bill, the cherry on top is any energy you don’t use, especially during the weekends. All that power will be sent back to your utility grid, which will give you a credit for the generated power.

If you have a 10 kWh energy storage system, you would have been able to effectively power your house throughout the day and night, without the need for any power from the utility grid. You would also protect yourself from blackouts, and rising energy prices when everything returns back to normal.


Are typical systems able to handle the additional usage from the lockdown?

Typically, any system that generates more than 10kWh of power should be able to handle the additional usage from lockdown.

An Australian home that has occupants numbering anywhere from 4 to 5 people will generally consume about 19kWh per day. That number reduces to 15kWh per day in the Autumn and Spring.

Due to the work from home movement and schooling for kids at home, you should allocate about 50% of that 19kWh to the times that you are working and when the children are at virtual school.

In essence, 9.5kWh of energy is needed from your solar panels, and if you have a 10kWh system – it will handle the additional energy usage easily.

If you want to absolutely make sure your home can handle the additional usages from the lockdown, by installing a corresponding energy storage system – you will be able to use renewable energy freely, without having to pay your utility providers a cent. In doing so, you’ll be essentially going off the grid.

Because of rooftop solar and commercial/industrial properties having fewer workers – prices have dropped to a new record low for energy in Australia. If you have a solar-powered home – you’re benefiting greatly, because you’re saving an additional 50% on your energy bills, even with additional energy usage from your home

If you’re looking for the best solar company in Australia to help you with your solar energy needs – Solar Run is here for you. We provide the golden standard in customer service and pricing for solar energy systems in all of Australia.

If you want a free consultation or have a couple of questions regarding a solar energy system and the amount of power it can create for your home or business, feel free to contact us below or give us a call.

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Author: Anthony Kurta

Managing Director at Solar Run

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