Back EU's electricity consumption remains lower in May 2020


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Since mid-March 2020, EU Member States have taken restrictive measures to slow down the spread of COVID-19. These measures included the closure of factories, schools, restaurants, bars and hotels, and required people to stay at home. Many companies lowered production levels due to a lack of demand or because of an interruption to their supply chain. These measures were in full force for the entire month of April and for part of May 2020.

As a result, May data show lower electricity consumption in most Member States. The total EU electricity consumption in May 2020 was 10.5% lower than the lowest May value recorded between 2016 and 2019.


Electricity consumption in the EU, January to May 2016 - 2020, in GWh

Source dataset: nrg_cb_em


Electricity consumption in May 2020 showed very low levels in a number of countries, in particular in Spain and Poland (both -13.7% compared with May 2019), Slovenia (-13.4%), Croatia (-11.9%), Romania (-11.8%) and Portugal (-11.6%).

A further nine Member States showed reductions of 5% to 10%, while for six Member States the drop was between 1% and 5%. In two Member States (Bulgaria and Latvia) the situation was stable (+/- 1%), while in the remaining four Member States electricity consumption grew.

Interestingly, for five Member States monthly electricity consumption in April and May 2020 was never lower than in the respective month in the years between 2016 and 2019 (Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Malta and Sweden).



  • Comparing April with May 2020 data might show an ‘improvement’ or ‘worsening’ of electricity consumption in some Member States. However, each country has its own consumption patterns:
    • in some countries ‘normal’ electricity consumption in May is always greater than in April, such as Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Hungary, Malta, Slovenia (probably because tourism season starts and temperatures already require air conditioning);
    • in others the consumption diminishes from April to May, such as Finland, Sweden, France and Ireland (probably because heating is no longer required).

When interpreting April versus May data these consumption patterns should be taken into account.

  • Supplementary to our news item on April 2020 electricity consumption data (EU’s electricity consumption lower in April 2020): At the time of the news item publication, Italian consumption data for April were not yet available, which is why only data for 26 Member States was published. In the meantime, Italy has sent the data, which show that the electricity consumption was 16.8% lower than the lowest April value recorded between 2016 and 2019. As a result, the respective EU figure is -11.8% (instead of -11.2% without Italy).


Source data for the EU and EU Member States:

  Electricity consumption, January to May 2016 - 2020


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