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Paper

Impact of COVID19 Lockdown on Household Energy Consumption on Two Indian Cities

Rachna Pathak, Shalu Agrawal, Rishiraj Adhikary, Nipun Batra, and Karthik Ganesan
November 2020 | Power Sector

Suggested citation: Pathak, Rachna, Shalu Agrawal, Rishiraj Adhikary, Nipun Batra, and Karthik Ganesan. 2020. “Impact of COVID19 Lockdown on Household Energy Consumption on Two Indian Cities: Poster.” In SenSys ’20: Proceedings of the 18th Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, 685–686. Yokohama, Japan: Association for Computing Machinery.

Overview

This paper explores the impact of COVID-19 on the electricity consumption of 93 households across two tier-2 Indian cities - Bareily and Mathura. The data was collected from smart meters installed in these households in 2019. The paper makes inferences in the context of India’s nation-wide lockdown that was followed by three more waves of lockdown with varying restrictions.

Key Highlights

  • The average daily consumption during May 2020 (10 units/household) was 17 per cent lower than that in May 2019 (12.5 units/household), despite a slightly higher mean monthly temperature.
  • Household electricity use was lower during the first three weeks of May 2020 (i.e. during lockdown 3) but exceeded the past consumption levels post 23 May.
  • The decline in electricity use during 1 May - 20 May was steepest for families that own ACs (36 per cent). Families with coolers and those without AC/coolers display a smaller drop in demand at 23 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.
  • Inability to get the AC repaired or serviced during the lockdown, and adherence to public advisories against the use of ACs and coolers to prevent the spread of corona were the key reasons behind limited electricity use.
  • Some households lowered their consumption to save money due to affected income levels.

During lockdown, many households reduced electricity because of advisories, logistical challenges or to compensate for reduced earnings.

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