At a White House meeting on April 3, President Donald Trump assured energy leaders that,”…we’ll get our energy business back… It’s a very vital business… You’ve kept energy prices reasonable for a long period of time. We’ve got a long period of time with very reasonable energy prices.”
While the President’s comments were aimed at the oil and gas industry, it easily applies to the power industry during the pandemic and California’s shelter-in-place. In fact, Bloomberg NEF stated, “COVID-19 has hit U.S. electricity demand hardest in New York and California, two states with some of the highest case totals and earliest stay-at-home orders.”
During the first week of the shelter-in-place order, the weekday load dropped more than 1,400 megawatt-hours (MWh). In week two, the weekday load plummeted to more than 2,600 MWh, with overall demand down 9 to 12 percent. While this does not take into consideration weather or other impacts on energy demand, it does show a dramatic drop in power usage.