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Energy explained

Habits at home: how lockdown affects electricity use

As Bulb's co-founder and Chief Energy Officer, Amit is obsessed with understanding patterns of energy use and behaviour. He's been in the news talking about how our members' energy usage has shifted in recent weeks. Here, we dig into the data behind that story.

We looked at data from 2,277 smart meters to compare our members' weekday electricity usage immediately before and after lockdown restrictions were introduced. The times of day with a value above the centre line on this chart show a higher demand for electricity since lockdown.

A chart showing electricity use over the day
Notes: % change calculated by comparing usage before restrictions (24 February-15 March) and after restrictions (16 March-5 April).

More of us are enjoying a lie in

A 21% drop in electricity demand at 7.30am shows that we're spending our virtual commute catching up on some shut-eye.

We're cooking more

Households are using 27% more electricity at 1pm compared to pre-lockdown data as more of us eat lunch at home.

Home workers are sticking to office hours

A 17% increase in electricity use between 9am and 5pm reflects a rise in the number of Bulb members working from home.

Londoners buck the trend

Electricity use has gone up between 6-8pm in London, while it's fallen in other parts of the country. This suggests Londoners' working hours, commutes and dining habits meant they were less likely to be home during this period before the lockdown. Whereas now, like the rest of the UK, they're mostly at home and using electricity.

Our stats on energy use during lockdown were covered by the BBC, Evening Standard, and Yahoo. Amit was also interviewed on Jazz FM


We're open for business as usual
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Like lots of our members, our team is working from home and we're on hand to help. You can still refer your friends and switch to Bulb, if you haven’t already. We handle every energy switch remotely, so your power supply won’t be interrupted if you choose to sign up.