The economic and social effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are also seen in the energy consumption of individuals, but also in the service sector and in industry. From March to December 2020, pandemic prevention measures such as detention and teleworking resulted in a sharp increase in electricity consumption (+ 14.9%) for domestic customers and a no less impressive decline in the service sector (-18.3%) over the same period in 2019.
According to the Rapid Estimates of Energy Consumption published by the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology (DGEG) on Sunday, February 14, the decline in the industrial sector was 5.6%.
However, the company ensures that from March to December 2020 electricity consumption, in addition to electricity consumption related to rail transport and agriculture and fishing, decreased overall by 3.8% compared to 2019.
In the case of natural gas, the reversal of consumption was practically similar: it rose by 17.5% in the domestic sector and fell by 20.3% and 9.0% in the service and industrial sectors, respectively.
In the transport sector, the road component decreased by 18.2% for diesel and 21.1% for gasoline. In aviation, the decline in jet fuel consumption was much more pronounced at 70.9%, due to the long period of complete disruption, followed by a very slight recovery in activity.
Services saw the largest decrease in electricity consumption (-43.4%) in April, a month of mandatory restriction when most of the economic activity in the sector ceased.
At the industry level, there was a sharp decline in April that kept consumption low for three months, but then there was a recovery that DGEG estimates would continue through the end of the year. Even in this sector there was a sharp decline in April and May, after which consumption recovered and stabilized in August with values similar to 2019.
In terms of energy consumption, the transport sector was “hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic,” emphasizes the agency under the supervision of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, which warns that diesel and gasoline consumption in March was already lower than in 2019 after suffering a sudden drop in April and no longer approaching typical monthly consumption. During that month, diesel consumption fell by 47% and gasoline consumption by 57%.
The shutdown of aviation in April led to a 93% reduction in aviation fuel consumption compared to the same month last year and remained very low (-70.9%) for the entire 10 months.
According to information from REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais, the company responsible for the global management of the national electricity and natural gas systems, electricity consumption for the year as a whole reached 48,800 GWh, the lowest level since 2005, a decrease of 3.1% compared to 2019 or 3.7 % taking into account temperature corrections and working days
Low temperatures and the new period of imprisonment, with teleworking as compulsory where possible, once again triggered household spending on electricity and gas consumption.