Lockdown causes record domestic power usage in Romania

In the first 11 months of 2020, Romanians consumed more electricity at home than ever before, a result of the pandemic lockdown.

According to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS), residential electricity consumption in Romania reached an all-time record in the first 11 months of 2020. The 11.7 million MWh was 4.3 percent higher than consumption in the same period of 2019.

“I think we had an increase in consumption because of COVID-19: People spent more time at home and worked more from home.”

– said Răzvan Nicolescu, head of Energy and Resources at Deloitte Romania. He added that “In the medium and long term, I expect this tendency will turn into a trend, especially since the state is quite passive in terms of energy-efficiency measures in the residential sector.”

According to the expert, the increasing trend in domestic electricity consumption in Romania is expected to remain even after the pandemic is gone because families across the country are quite poorly equipped in terms of household appliances, but this is going to change.

Total consumption decrease

The INS report also highlights that despite people using more electricity at home last year than in 2019, total electricity consumption decreased by 4 percent in Romania. This is also a result of the pandemic because the energy demand from the overall economy was 6.3 percent lower compared to the previous year. Public lighting consumption, for example, decreased even more, by 12.2 percent. The total consumption was 48.5 million MWh — the lowest in the past five years, which saw a peak in 2018 of 50.9 million MWh.

Due to the decrease in total consumption and the increase in residential consumption at the same time, the share of the latter increased to 24.1 percent, which is also an all-time record.

Energy production decreased by 6.5 percent

Energy production also decreased, by 6.5 percent to 57.6 billion MW. Coal and gas-fired power plants’ production decreased the most, by 15.5 percent, while hydroelectric power plants’ production decreased by 3.8 percent. On the other hand, wind power stations produced 2.9 percent more electricity than they did in the same period of 2019. (maszol.ro.)


Title image: Silhouette of high-voltage power lines against the sun. (Photo: Dreamstime)

Author: Attila Szoó