Impact of Working From Home on Energy Use and Demand 

How Working From Home Affects Your Energy Use 

Due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, more Americans are working from home than ever before.

As people spend more time working from home (WFH), they are dipping into more household energy sources throughout the day. These include home office electronics, kitchen appliances and cooling, heating and lighting power sources. Increased home office energy use translates to a surge in home energy bills.

From April to July 2020, Americans spent $6 billion more on domestic energy consumption than before the pandemic, nearly recompensing a decline in industrial and business demand.


The New Working Norms

The pandemic has impacted how people work, consume and live. Sweeping change continues to affect the nation in areas such as:

  • Job loss and business closings: COVID-19 has battered the labor market and taken a steep toll on economic activity in the U.S.
  • Energy and emissions: National lockdowns had an immediate impact on the industrial and commercial energy sector, both in consumption and production. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the result has been a dip in electricity demand unparalleled since the Great Depression. Energy usage has decreased by up to 20% for each month of lockdown, creating prolonged low-level consumption.
  • Shift to e-commerce: COVID-19 has led to accelerated digital transformation and an increase in e-commerce. Consumers and businesses increasingly went digital as lockdowns became the new normal and customers began purchasing more services and goods online. E-commerce’s global retail trade share rose from 14% in 2019 to almost 17% in 2020.
  • Office building closings: Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, millions of office workers worldwide have transitioned to working from their homes. As work continues as usual and office cubicles sit neglected, many employers are reconsidering the high price of communal working spaces.
  • More Americans working from home: Office and workplace closures have caused millions of employed Americans to work from home.


The Impacts of WFH on Energy Demand and Usage Energy Rates

U.S. residential electricity sales in April 2020 have increased 8% compared with April 2019, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. residential electricity sales have never been this high in April.

Simultaneously, the industrial and commercial sectors saw decreases of 9% and 11%, respectively.


RateAcuity Delivers Reliable Electricity Rate Data for Businesses

Both energy demands and the number of Americans working from home have undoubtedly seen significant changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you’re an energy auditor or work for a building efficiency or energy management software company, RateAcuity provides an easy-to-use interface to help you offer accurate and up-to-date data to consumers.

We pride ourselves on providing your company with the highest-quality commercial utility cost data to keep your business running smoothly. When you work through our energy rate database, you’ll enjoy quick access to current commercial utility rates.

Save time and money by using an API to download utility rate data directly into your software, or employ our convenient web portal for your own research.

Reach out to us to learn more about our easy-to-use interface today.


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