New data from corporate energy specialist Open Energy Market (OEM) offers a rare real-time demonstration of how Britain is getting back to work as lockdown lifts.

Corporate energy consumption was down 40% at the peak of the Covid crisis but the latest figures (to 21st July) are only 8% below the level they were just prior to lockdown.

There has been a sharp rise in the past two weeks as restrictions have relaxed and more people have returned to work.

OEM, backed by investor Calculus Capital, is a trading platform that enables a wide range of companies and organisations to forecast energy use and buy cost effectively.

Taking consumption from an anonymised sample of 500 companies, across a wide spectrum of industries (from hospitality to manufacturing) and using a seven-day rolling average to smooth out the impact of weekends and public holidays, OEM has been able to chart the impact of Covid on the corporate sector on a like for like basis with the previous year.

UK corporate energy consumption 2020

Source: Open Energy Market (OEM) – data to 21st July 2020

Chris Maclean, CEO of OEM, said: “As you would expect, there was a sharp drop in consumption as organisations entered lockdown. Many companies with staff working from home or furloughed, still had some consumption – keeping lights on and servers running – but clearly not at anything like the same levels.

Calculus Chief Executive John Glencross said: “These numbers support the anecdotal evidence we’re receiving from across the portfolio – things are picking up again. Several of our companies in the life sciences area have been incredibly busy during lockdown because they have joined the battle against Covid, helping in areas such as diagnostics and vaccinations. For others it’s been an understandably nervous time but confidence is returning, which is good for the economy and investors. These entrepreneurial companies will be at the heart of our recovery.”