Thursday 25 March 2021 11:12 am

Over half of households now commuting to work again

More than half of all households could now be travelling to work again, analysis of their daily energy usage shows.

According to challenger energy brand Bulb, about 54 per cent of households are now commuting into work, up 13 per cent from the beginning of January.

Using data from its smart meters, the company is able to track when people are using the most energy in their homes.

According to the firm, those commuting to work can be distinguished by using more energy in the morning than at lunchtime.

Now, Bulb’s analysis suggests that there are more households for whom that is the case, as the graph shows.

Household energy usage by peak. (Image: Bulb)

Bulb says that the data suggests that lockdown fatigue has well and truly settled in, with the percentage of households travelling to work now climbing back towards pre-pandemic levels.

Before the pandemic, at least 60 per cent of households fell into the ‘commuter’ group, with the maximum number of commuters at 67 per cent.

This fell to 38 per cent when the first lockdown was enacted last March.

Further analysis also suggests that people are starting to consume energy again in a way that resembles pre-pandemic behaviour.

As the graph below shows, average energy usage during daylight hours is now more in line with March 2019 than in is with March 2020, when the initial Covid-19 lockdown began.

Average energy use by household by hour. (Image: Bulb)

Again, this suggests that more people are now heading back into workspaces rather than working from home full time.

Transport usage also suggests an increase in commuting. According to figures from Transport for London, 1m tube journeys were made last Friday, about a quarter of pre-pandemic levels.

That’s about five times more journeys than were made at the start of the first lockdown in March 2020, and almost double those made in January 2021.