Electricity Demand In The Time Of COVID-19

WASHINGTON - Dominion Energy (D) expects "incremental residential load" gains as a result of COVID-19 fallout. Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning says his company is "nowhere near" a need to review earnings guidance because of a potential recession.

Sempra Energy (SRE) has reaffirmed earnings per share guidance for 2020 and 2021, as well timing for the sale of assets in Chile and Peru. And Xcel Energy (XEL) says it still "hasn’t seen material impact on its business."

Several electric utilities have demonstrated ability to tap the bond market to lock in low-cost financing, despite ongoing turmoil. Their ranks include Dominion Energy, renewable energy leader NextEra Energy (NEE) and Consolidated Edison (ED), which last week sold $1 billion of 30-year bonds at a coupon rate of just 3.95 percent.

It’s still early days for US COVID-19 fallout. And most electric companies have yet to issue guidance. That’s understandable, since so much is still unknown about the virus and the damage it will ultimately do to human health and the global economy. But so far, the US power industry is showing typical resilience in tough times.

Will it last? We won’t know for certain until there’s a lot more data. NextEra is usually first to report its Q1 earnings reports and detailed guidance. But that’s not expected until April 23. And companies may delay financials further, should the virus and efforts to control it impede collection and analysis of data.


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