News in cooperation with eceee.org

The city that never sleeps is waking up later

(New York Times, 29 Apr 2020) Some 400 special electric meters in New York apartments provide a shifting view of power use while people are stuck inside.

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the ebb and flow of daily life in countless ways. Americans are comfort-eating, cringe-watching and using their phones for actual voice-calling. And, in New York City (and no doubt other places under stay-home orders), people are also staying under the covers a little bit longer.

That is just one of several changes captured by researchers studying electricity use in hundreds of Manhattan apartments before and after the city was locked down in March. People are using up to 25 percent more energy during the daytime as they work or go to school remotely, or cook or binge-watch more.

They even seem to be burning the midnight oil a little more. Weekdays are becoming more like weekends.

“You can actually see in the electricity data that people are home much more,” said Christoph Meinrenken, a physicist and associate research scientist at the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

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New York Times, 29 Apr 2020: The city that never sleeps is waking up later