We shower later: how data shows that our lives have changed by corona

In the morning an hour later in the shower and we use more internet data for online meetings. And the news? We don‘t check that at specific times anymore, but throughout the day.

One thing is certain if you look at charts about water consumption, data consumption, news consumption, mobility and energy in 2020: our daily lives have really changed by corona.

Water consumption: no urinal, so more water consumption

Maybe you recognize it: that you can stay in bed a little longer because you work at home. The time we previously spent on travel time, we now spend in bed. This can be seen in data from Vitens water company. โ€œWe took a shower later in the morning in coronatijd,โ€ explains Cornelis Vlot of the water company.

In 2020, Vitens released drinking water was bigger than ever: 15 billion litres more were consumed in 2020 than in 2019, because it was another extremely dry year, because we travelled less abroad, and working from home. โ€œWe consume more water at home than we do in the office. Partly, it’s because men use a toilet at home instead of the urinal in the office. A toilet consumes more water than a urinal.โ€

What also stands out is the huge dip in water consumption at a corona press conference or a speech by the king. Raft: โ€œThat‘s what you see at big football matches. The toilet is then not used and so you see a huge dip in water consumption.โ€

We take a shower later and during the press conferences there is a clear dip in water consumption:

News consumption: the press conference peak

Not only do we shower later, we also check the news a little later in the morning, according to data from DeccEit about online visits. โ€œCorona has completely confused our news consumption. There was always a news spike in the morning, but that peak is now later,โ€ explains Kevin Cheung, researcher at DeccEit.

In 2019, because they worked around business hours, many people really navigated to Decceit site and app at regular intervals. โ€œYou saw a peak in the morning, one around noon and then another in the eveningโ€, says Cheung. โ€œThe image in the afternoon is different: it is now a huge wave of news consumption. That means that people are increasingly checking the news in between.โ€

What also stands out is the huge news for coronan news. The number of visits in 2020 was higher every day than in 2019. Especially on Tuesday: โ€œThe average number of visitors on Tuesday is a lot higher, due to the corona press conference.โ€

We check the news in 2020 a little later in the day than in 2019:

Data Consumption: Online Meetings

It is a special cycle: more internet data is consumed throughout the hour, and during the hour it is gradually decreasing. According to KPN, this is clearly the result of online meetings. Through Teams, Zoom or Google Meet, many colleagues know how to find each other. โ€œSince the summer, this type of traffic has risen by about 25%: it shows that this type of service has become increasingly common and the Netherlands is increasingly digitizing,โ€ says a spokesman.

Moreover, during business hours it is a lot busier on the network, says KPN. โ€œIn the first corona wave (March/April), we saw a fairly sudden increase of 25 percent on the network. Since then, it has been structurally busier.โ€

And we use more data in the evening, because we watch more TV and stream videos. โ€œBecause shops and gyms are closed.โ€

The outgoing data traffic of KPN:

Mobility: in the second wave we stay less at home

After the press conference in mid-March in which Rutte announced that working at home should be the norm, the number of visits to workplaces fell by 50%. But in mid-April, the number of trips to work began to rise again.

In the second lockdown we are also significantly less adhering to this advice. This is evidenced by Google’s statistics: that company knows where people are thanks to users who turn on โ€œlocation historyโ€ to get information and tips based on their location.

Where we stayed home more often in the first wave, in the second wave we go to work more often:

And also from parking data (from Parkmobile) it can be seen that during the first lockdown in March and April we stayed home more often than in the second lockdown in December.

Parking transactions measured by Parkmobile in 100 municipalities:

Energy consumption: more consumption from working at home

In the first and second lockdown, private individuals consume more electricity during business hours than in the same period in 2019. Not surprisingly, perhaps, because we worked more from home during that period.

From anonymised data from over 230,000 Dutch private customers of energy supplier Eneco who are in possession of a smartthermostat and electricity meter, it is also easy to see that in the second lockdown the rise is much less large, than in the first one. At that time, it was about 16 percent more electricity consumption on weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm, and in the second lockdown, only 8.5 percent.

Thanks to the thermostat and meter, Eneco can categorize electricity consumption for customers. A funny fact, but according to the spokesman, which is not directly explained, is that during the second lockdown the use of kitchen appliances increased compared to the first lockdown and that remarkably enough the use of the dishwasher has fallen.

Average electricity consumption (of 230,000 private Eneco customers) in the first and second lockdown: