Exploring the Effects of California's COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Order on Household Energy Practices and Intention to Adopt Smart Home Technologies

Zanocco, C., Flora, J., Rajagopal, R., & Boudet, H., Exploring the effects of California’s COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place order on household energy practices and intention to adopt smart home technologies. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Forthcoming

30 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2020 Last revised: 30 Nov 2020

See all articles by Chad Zanocco

Chad Zanocco

Stanford University

June Flora

Stanford University

Ram Rajagopal

Stanford University

Hilary Boudet

Oregon State University - School of Public Policy

Date Written: July 14, 2020

Abstract

To contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), local and state governments in the U.S. have imposed restrictions on daily life, resulting in dramatic changes to how and where people interact, travel, socialize, and work. Using a social practice perspective, we explore how California’s Shelter-in-Place (SIP) order impacted household energy activities. To do so, we conducted an online survey of California residents (n=804) during active SIP restrictions (May 5–18, 2020). We asked respondents about changes to home occupancy patterns and household energy activities (e.g., cooking, electronics usage) due to SIP restrictions, as well as perspectives toward smart energy technologies. Households reported increased midday (10am–3pm) occupancy during SIP, and this increase is related to respondent and household characteristics, such as education and the presence of minors in the home. Examining change in the frequency of household activities during SIP, presence of minors and increased midday occupancy proved important. Finally, we considered relationships to intention to purchase smart home technologies, with the presence of minors and increased activity frequency relating to greater intention to purchase. These findings demonstrate how household activities and occupancy changed under COVID restrictions, how these changes may be related to energy use in the home, and how such COVID-related changes could be shaping perspectives toward smart home technology, potentially providing insight into future impacts on household practices and electricity demand.

Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, shelter in place, stay at home, residential energy use, social practice theory, household activities, smart home technology

JEL Classification: Q40

Suggested Citation

Zanocco, Chad and Flora, June and Rajagopal, Ram and Boudet, Hilary, Exploring the Effects of California's COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Order on Household Energy Practices and Intention to Adopt Smart Home Technologies (July 14, 2020). Zanocco, C., Flora, J., Rajagopal, R., & Boudet, H., Exploring the effects of California’s COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place order on household energy practices and intention to adopt smart home technologies. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3650655 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3650655

Chad Zanocco (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

June Flora

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Ram Rajagopal

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Hilary Boudet

Oregon State University - School of Public Policy ( email )

Corvallis, OR 97333
United States

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