4661.0 - Using electricity data to understand COVID-19 impacts , 2020  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/10/2020  First Issue
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The advantages of using electricity consumption data are the coverage and ability to show timely changes. This feasibility study confirms that analysis of electricity usage and consumption patterns can provide insight into changes in lifestyle of Australians from COVID-19 and the subsequent impact on the Australian economy.

Analysis of electricity consumption data can complement other household and economic statistics in supporting evidence-based policy making in the current uncertain environment. The data also presents unique opportunities to expand and enhance ABS’ suite of statistical products.

Going forward, we are considering furthering exploring the potential applications of this data to provide additional insights as the Australian economy recovers from COVID-19. We plan to compare smart meter data to survey response data to examine whether electricity usage trends can be leveraged to improve the robustness of economic statistics. We also plan to use weather data to help account for these effects, and to explore how the data can be used to inform the treatment of electricity usage in the ABS Environmental Accounts and the apportionment to industries and households.