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Does COVID-19 affect Singapore's Electrical Demand?

Singapore has moved towards stricter physical distancing measures since last Thursday (26-Mar-2020) by closing down movie theatres, pubs and most entertainment centre to contain the spread of COVID-19. With these shops closed, does the electrical load for Singapore changes though? Let’s find out.

Data sourced from the Energy Market Company

Singapore's electricity demand (Mar 2019 vs Mar 2020)

We can see that in general, the electrical demand hasn’t changed and in fact, it seemed to have increased from similar days from the past year, even when benchmarked for weekdays and weekends. This is could be an indication of both year-on-year growth in the economy and the implementation of work from home in many places.


Singapore average daily electricity demand (Mar 2019 vs Mar 2020)

A deeper dig into this could point to some of the following reasons:

  • Physical Distancing means more people stay at home and use their individual air-conditioning systems. Considering that the weather in Singapore has been hot in the last week, 30-35 °C with tropical humidity, air-conditioning is needed more than usual.

  • There’s a slight drop in energy demand on Saturdays, indicating maybe people are going out fewer times than in 2019.

  • Over time a country’s electricity/energy consumption increases as its economy grow on a year-on-year basis. Although shops are closed, load factors are often affected by the capacity of the country. Singapore although is small, it does host 6.9 million people in the small little island.

  • And most importantly, Singapore is under strict physical distancing and not a complete lockdown, which means that a lot of businesses are still up and running, in addition to a lot of people working from home. That’s possibly why we see an overall increase in electrical demand.

  • We also compared an average weekday and weekend in March fared in 2019 and 2020. We found that the average weekday demand for March in 2020 is higher than in 2019. However, that isn’t true for weekends, where the demand drops in 2020 compared to 2019. This can be due to the fact that many offices remain open and a good number of people are also working from home. And on the weekends, many people are probably choosing to stay in against going out.

Weekday electricity demand in Singapore (Mar 2019 vs Mar 2020)
Weekend electricity demand in Singapore (Mar 2019 vs Mar 2020)

We further carried out a 30 min data comparison for the whole month of March (2019 vs 2020) for the island country. We can see a general trend occurring here, there are multiple dips or low amount of demand happening on Thursday and Friday for 2020. We then take a look at the difference per day as compared to 2019. We can see that there are only a few days that have a negative difference. Thus, we can see that despite COVID-19, the overall electrical load of Singapore didn’t drop. This may be due to the transfer of load from the offices, shophouse to the residential areas of Singapore with many of us staying at home today.

This is all just initial data from a week of stricter social distancing measures, we will be monitoring this over-time and see how Singapore’s electrical demand changes if and when stricter measures are rolled out.

Comparison in Singapore's electricity demand in 30 min interval (Mar 2019 vs Mar 2020)

Here at Resync, we use machine learning to analyse and predict our customer’s load. We also help you create a general load profile for your building. For example, we can create a load profile for a general office building. The red curve is the usual working day and the blue curve is a holiday.


Electricity Load Profiling using Resync's machine learning algorithms

In addition, if your building has Solar or any renewable energy systems, we can do the different optimization and forecasting to help you understand how’s your building is dealing with the electrical demands.

We aim to provide insight into your data and optimal control over your energy assets, so you can be more energy-efficient and cost-effective. Talk to us to learn more about our intelligent energy management solution!


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