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COVID-19 Pandemic Ramifications on Residential Smart Homes Energy Use Load Profiles...

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Energy and Buildings
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The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected people’s behavioral patterns and schedules because of stay-at-home orders and a reduction of social interactions. Therefore, the shape of electrical loads associated with residential buildings has also changed. In this paper, we quantify the changes and perform a detailed analysis on how the load shapes have changed, and we make potential recommendations for utilities to handle peak load and demand response. Our analysis incorporates data from before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, from an Alabama Power Smart Neighborhood with energy-efficient/smart devices, using around 40 advanced metering infrastructure data points. This paper highlights the energy usage pattern changes between weekdays and weekends pre– and post–COVID-19 pandemic times. The weekend usage patterns look similar pre– and post–COVID-19 pandemic, but weekday patterns show significant changes. We also compare energy use of the Smart Neighborhood with a traditional neighborhood to better understand how energy-efficient/smart devices can provide energy savings, especially because of increased work-from-home situations. HVAC and water heating remain the largest consumers of electricity in residential homes, and our findings indicate an even further increase in energy use by these systems.