Modelling Electricity Consumption During the COVID19 Pandemic: Datasets, Models, Results and a Research Agenda

Z.A. Khan, T. Hussain, A. Ullah, W. Ullah, J. Del Ser, K. Muhammad, M. Sajjad, S.W. Baik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID19 pandemic has impacted the global economy, social activities, and Electricity Consumption (EC), affecting the performance of historical data-based Electricity Load Forecasting (ELF) algorithms. This study thoroughly analyses the pandemic's impact on these models and develop a hybrid model with better prediction accuracy using COVID19 data. Existing datasets are reviewed, and their limited generalization potential for the COVID19 period is highlighted. A dataset of 96 residential customers, comprising 36 and six months before and after the pandemic, is collected, posing significant challenges for current models. The proposed model employs convolutional layers for feature extraction, gated recurrent nets for temporal feature learning, and a self-attention module for feature selection, leading to better generalization for predicting EC patterns. Our proposed model outperforms existing models, as demonstrated by a detailed ablation study using our dataset. For instance, it achieves an average reduction of 0.56% & 3.46% in MSE, 1.5% & 5.07% in RMSE, and 11.81% & 13.19% in MAPE over the pre- and post-pandemic data, respectively. However, further research is required to address the varied nature of the data. These findings have significant implications for improving ELF algorithms during pandemics and other significant events that disrupt historical data patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113204
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Early online date30 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


  • Attention GRU
  • COVID19
  • Deep learning
  • Electricity consumption
  • Machine learning
  • Analysis
  • Pre-pandemic consumption
  • post-pandemic consumption
  • Post-pandemic consumption


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