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Building energy consumption assessment during and after lockdown: Case study of Malaysian housing

Farea Tareq Gaber, Kandar Mohd Zin, Baba-Girei Zulai Jarmai, Shamang Kasham Jummai, Lukman Lukman Muazu, Aliero Muhammad Saidu

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic caused devastation to society in 2020, forcing people all across the world to alter their lifestyles. During the pandemic, people spent more time at home, and this shift in occupancy can directly influence building energy usage. COVID-19 lockdowns hastened the transition to telework, which many predict will continue. Changes in energy usage during lockdown are thus a significant source for forecasting future energy consumption in buildings. This study aims to measure the effects of the COVID-19 lockout on home energy usage. The energy usage of a seven residential building complex in Johor Bahru, Malaysia before, during, and after the first lockdown phase was compared and analyzed. It was discovered that the initial two months in the lockdown period are the most severe energy consumption due to the tight lockdown measures implemented as reflected in energy consumption patterns. Overall energy consumption for all candidate appliances increased during and after lockdown. Still, the more significant change was that consumption occurred during the daytime rather than focused in the evening as before the lockdown. The findings provide insight into the effect of a lockdown on customer energy costs and how energy utilities may be approached during such an event.
Keywords: building / lockdown / energy consumption / pandemic / COVID / energy usage / home

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