Covid-19 energy use

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21 January, 2021

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CREDS is responding to the need for new knowledge as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the effect on energy use in homes and on travel, and the contribution of energy demand research in the economic recovery. We’re using smart meter data and surveys to assess energy use in homes before, during and after COVID. For travel, an extensive quantitative survey looks at how travel behaviour and patterns have changed. We aim to influence the economic recovery package by asking policy decision-makers what energy demand information they require, and will apply our collective existing knowledge and new evidence to suggest policy solutions to move the UK in the direction of an equitable transition to net zero.

CREDS is responding to the need for new knowledge as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are looking at the effect of the pandemic on energy use in homes, the effect of the pandemic on travel and the contribution of energy demand research in the economic recovery package.

The effect of COVID-19 on energy use in homes

This involves a survey of 1,700 people who are already participating in the Smart Energy Research Lab (SERL), and staff from Core, the Buildings & Energy and Policy & Governance themes. This will allow us to join together responses from the survey with smart meter data to assess participants’ energy use before, during and after COVID-19. The survey was carried out on paper and online, and has resulted in 1000 responses. We are currently analysing the data.

The effect of COVID-19 on travel and socialising adaptability

This study (co-funded by many partners including our Transport & Mobility theme, Transport Scotland, ClimateXChange and Liverpool City Council) aims to do a three-wave survey (before, during and after) looking at how travel and socialising behaviour and patterns have changed as a result of the pandemic. There has been an extensive quantitative survey of 9,600 participants in 10 city regions. This has been followed up with 110 interviews in five locations, and interviews with policymakers and academics. Further survey and interview work is ongoing. So far, there has been an initial analysis of the survey and interview data, and the results are published along with a number of blog articles. One paper has been submitted.  More information can be found on the covid19transas site.

The contribution of energy demand in the economic recovery package post-COVID-19

This study is user-needs led – we have asked policy decision-makers what information they are looking for to support their deliberations, and involves staff from five Themes. We will then apply our collective existing knowledge and new evidence to address their knowledge needs and make suggestions for policy solutions to move the UK in the direction of an equitable transition to net-zero. So far, we have had discussions with BEIS, DfT, MHCLG, Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government and LGA, and have had various requests for further support.

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Banner photo credit: CDC