US power load changes as stay-home orders expire, businesses begin to reopen
New York — US power demand is showing some signs of recovery across the country as nearly half the states allowed stay-home orders to expire in recent days. However, many have a phased-in approach in place that still limits activity, while some local jurisdictions decided to extend the orders.
When states shut down in March in an effort to stop the spread of the virus, power load dropped as the commercial sector closed down. That drop in demand in turn pulled down power prices across the country at a time when prices already were falling in response to milder spring weather. Adding to the market weakness were record-low natural gas prices from oversupply due to strong production and mild winter weather.
Grid operators continue to monitor the ever-evolving situation and maintain there is no threat to grid reliability. However, the market remains in uncharted territory.