How Covid-19 Has Changed The Way Americans Use Energy

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Contributed date

October 29, 2020 - 5:17pm

Critical Commentary

Conca, a ForbesĀ journalist specifically accounting energy topics, discusses the ways in which COVID-19 has affected energy expenditures. Overall, energy consumption has decreased 4% from the same time last year. However, Conca more deeply analyzes the effects lockdown measures have had on said energy expenditures. Citing the study conducted by Diana Sabau, Conca notes differences in energy landscapes across the fifty states. Both the commercial and the industrial secotrs reported significant drops in energy, 11% and 9% respectively, mainly attributable to social-distancing measures taken to fight COVID-19. However, where the commercial and industrial had drops in energy use, the residential sector saw more than significant increases, in some states like Arizona and Michigan even increasing by 21%. When looking at energy vulnerable populations, such a dramatic increase in energy consumption can only mean the price of said increase is falling on the individuals who are staying home more and, thus, can thrust people into energy vulnerability. The article goes on to highlight Hawaii's own drop in energy consumption in the hospitality sector by 21% , given the lack of tourism. Major takeaway from this article is the redistribution of energy expenditures, which should call for better analyses of the impacts of the pandemic and could, perhaps, spark conversations on energy bill coverage as part of employee contracts since many may move to remote settings perminantly. This article, and the general energy bill difficulties faced by many Americans, could also spark conversations about energy rights and energy assistance.


Conca, J. (2020, October 28). How Covid-19 Has Changed The Way Americans Use Energy. Forbes. Retrieved from

Cite as

James Conca, "How Covid-19 Has Changed The Way Americans Use Energy", contributed by Briana Leone, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 29 October 2020, accessed 13 July 2024.