Paper Conference

Proceedings of eSim 2022: 12th Conference of IBPSA-Canada


Implications of COVID-19 for Electricity Use in Commercial Smart Buildings in Canada – A Case Study

Hadia Awad, Araz Ashouri, Farid Bahiraei
National Research Council Canada, Canada

Abstract: When the country-wide lockdown for public employees in Canada took place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all non-essential commercial activities were shut down and the majority of office workers began working from home. As a result, a considerable change in occupancy-driven electricity use was observed in commercial buildings. In this study, two years of hourly electricity use data for 27 government buildings equipped with smart energy management systems are analyzed to quantify those changes and understand the economic and environmental impacts. Time-series decomposition methods are applied to metered electricity data in order to isolate characteristics such as base load, peak load, and estimated occupancy. Results indicate a reduction of 10% in electricity use and 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions in the year following the pandemic. However, the pattern was not uniform in all buildings and some showed increased baseloads and weekend usage. The reasons behind such differences are further investigated.
Keywords: Commercial buildings, COVID-19, electricity use, smart buildings, time-series decomposition