What Lowest Electricity Sales to End Users Since 2009 Say About Shifts in the Pandemic Economy, Working from Home, Commercial & Industrial Activity, and Public Transit

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

And by source? in 2020, coal collapsed to record low, natural gas dominated, wind and solar surged, while hydro and nuclear remained roughly flat.

Electricity sales to all end users – households, office buildings, industrial buildings, and the like – have been on a dreary trajectory since 2008 for electric utilities overall in the US, despite economic and population growth, as these customers have invested in more efficient electrical equipment such as LED light bulbs and new air conditioners, and better thermal insulation, while at the same time, more manufacturing has been offshored.

And then came the Pandemic. By customer type, electricity sales show the shifts in the economy as millions of jobs evaporated, and as other jobs were switched from desk farms in office towers to working from home, while many retailers and restaurants closed, industrial plants reduced activity, and usage of commuter rail collapsed.

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