I.n the Corona crisis, millions of people in Germany obviously get up later than usual – and also take a shower later. The municipal utilities in several German municipalities observe corona-related changes in everyday life in their measurement data on electricity and water consumption. “In the mornings, our customers currently use electricity later than usual,” says a spokesman for Stadtwerke München. At lunchtime, electricity consumption rises in the Bavarian capital – Munich’s municipal utility companies suspect that more is being cooked at home.
At the Augsburg municipal works it is said that the increase in electricity consumption in the morning starts about an hour later than normal. The situation is similar in Leipzig: “The significant increase in electricity consumption in the morning starts a little later in Leipzig than before Corona,” says a spokesman for the Leipzig supply and transport company.
In addition, it is reasonable to assume that many people only shower after breakfast. “The morning delivery peak shifts by a good two hours,” says Hamburg Wasser. During the week, most of the water flows from the taps of the Hanseatic city between 7.45 a.m. and 8.15 a.m. – this peak consumption has shifted to the period between 9.30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Essener Stadtwerke is observing a similar change in the Ruhr area.
But there are regional differences that are difficult to explain: “You can see that the“ morning peak ”shifts on Monday from 7.30 a.m. to 9.00 a.m.,” says a spokeswoman for Dresdner Stadtwerke Drewag. “This means that people get up and shower early” – but the people of Dresden are still half an hour earlier than the Hamburgers.
It is obvious that many citizens can start the day later than before the start of the crisis, as a municipal utility company thinks. Whoever works at home saves time for the way to work. And when the children no longer have to go to school – or drive – they can have breakfast later.
Data situation not clear
However, the data situation is not clear. In some places, local public utilities do not observe a time shift in electricity consumption, for example in Münster, Westphalia. And in Würzburg or Nuremberg, morning electricity consumption increases more slowly than before the outbreak of the crisis, but not much later.
However, the measurement of consumption is not the same everywhere. Some municipal utilities do not record private and commercial consumption separately, for example in Bremen. And many municipalities have outsourced the management of their electricity grids and therefore do not have precise data on grid utilization during the day.
In any case, in Munich it is not only the municipal utilities who can get a comparatively precise picture of the life rhythm of the citizens in the Corona crisis. The municipal network operator M-Net has analyzed telephone and data traffic: Unsurprisingly, data traffic increased sharply in the morning. The landline phone, which was believed to be dead, is also experiencing a renaissance with a growth rate of 50 percent.
And when it comes to leisure activities, not only Netflix and YouTube benefit, but also the video game industry: “Gaming traffic increased by 50 percent compared to February and remains at this level,” says a spokesman. Some stressed parents may park their children in front of the Playstation.