India’s Electricity Use Falls To Lowest In Five Months Due To Lockdown


India’s electricity use fell to the lowest in nearly five months on the first day of a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, government data showed, with monthly power consumption likely to fall for the first time in four months.

National electricity demand fell to 2.78 billion units on March 25, the first day of the three-week total shutdown called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on Tuesday.

That was nearly 20% below the average of 3.45 billion units per day in the first three weeks of March, a Reuters analysis of government data showed.

If demand continues at these reduced levels, India’s electricity consumption for March is set to decline at the fastest pace year-on-year since October, when power use fell at its steepest in over 12 years due to a broad economic slowdown.

Still, the extent and impact of potential breaches of the government shutdown remain unclear, as certain states recorded a spike in power consumption.

States such as Odisha and Jharkhand also showed slight increases in power usage, but these are mineral-rich regions and mining remains an essential service.