Statistics from a consultancy firm show utility revenues increased almost 9 percent in the second quarter of 2020. This is in comparison to figures from 2019. Research by Tufts University suggests consumers are paying more for residential electricity than they were before the pandemic. These are two reasons experts say electric utilities may have benefited from the pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit and everyone began spending far more time at home, you saw a tremendous increase in residential use and at a much higher profit margin,” commented Albert Lin, executive director of the Pearl Street Station Finance Lab.
In October, researcher Steve Cicala released a paper on how the pandemic affected energy use. He found that on average, utility bills for one-fifth of U.S. households rose by more than $20 per month between April and July 2020.
“The reduction in economic activity is clear in patterns of industrial and commercial electricity consumption, while there has been a striking shift towards using more residential usage,” the paper explained. As a result, Lin believes that utilities are “pretty happy with the pandemic.”