Analysis of Pre- & Intra-COVID-19 Pandemic U.S. Residential Sector Energy Consumption: A Novel Survey of American Household Usage During the Pandemic

Authors

  • Matthew Abele Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
  • Bridget Kallmeyer Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
  • Salahaldin F Alshatshati Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering University of Dayton, Dayton, OH

Keywords:

COVID-19, pandemic, residential sector, household energy consumption

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered the way people around the world live, and although some impacts are yet to be realized, many changes have already occurred. Along with a climate crisis that is not going away any time soon, and an ever-increasing energy demand, the United States is about to endure consequences long thought to be for future generations. Given the lengthy and widespread stay-at-home orders, which forced residences to become makeshift schools and office spaces, the residential energy sector has certainly felt the impacts of the pandemic. Herein, we analyze pre- and intra-pandemic energy consumption in the residential sector in the United States. Students in a graduate-level engineering class at the University of Dayton were surveyed on their utility usage from 2019 through 2020 in an attempt to develop an understanding of how and where energy use changed over the period. Data collected included household city, state, occupancy, thermostat temperature setpoint, and electricity, gas, and water consumption for the household as presented on their utility bill. Data was analyzed on four categories – season, year, state, and number of occupants – to determine the influence of each of these factors on energy consumption. Overall electricity consumption increased 10% among the surveyed group, compared to a 2% increase in national consumption in the residential sector. While exact numerical findings were quite a bit higher than those nationally, the trend in increased consumption held true across all four categories studied. The findings of annual national energy consumption surveys are thereby reciprocated and enhanced by this limited, yet novel study.

Published

2021-06-04