Edinburgh homes record pandemic-fuelled rise in electricity use

Households in the Edinburgh Council area recorded their largest rise in electricity consumption in eight years in 2020, as Covid forced people to spend more time at home.

By Radar
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 12:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th January 2022, 12:23 pm
Stock photo, PA.
Stock photo, PA.

The figures come at a time of rising energy prices, driven by a spike in the cost of gas, with energy bills predicted to double this year.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy figures show 862 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity were consumed by domestic meters in Edinburgh in 2020.

This was a four per cent rise on the 826 GWh consumed the year before and the largest change since comparable records began in 2012.

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Across the UK electricity use by homes rose by 5.6 per cent in 2020, but while people spent more time at home, lockdowns forced many businesses to close, with non-domestic consumption dropping by 11.1 per cent. It means overall electricity use dropped by 4.8 per cent – the largest year-on-year fall on record.

Fears have been raised about the soaring cost of energy bills – driven by rising gas prices – as work from home advice has been reintroduced throughout the UK. The disruption has been bankrupting suppliers since September, costing consumers £4 billion.

The business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng met with energy companies and regulator Ofgem after Christmas to discuss how to deal with soaring gas and electricity prices. A Government spokesman said: “Throughout the meeting there was discussion of the issues facing the sector and an agreement for meetings to continue over the coming days and weeks to ensure UK consumers are protected.”

They added vulnerable households were being supported by initiatives such as the warm home discount, which has been extended to cover an extra 750,000 homes, as well as winter fuel payments, and cold weather payments.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​