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Lasting Impact of 2021 Winter Storm on Home Services in Texas

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Clock IconJune 15th, 2021
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This winter, contractors throughout Texas encountered a tremendous surge in demand brought about by an unprecedented winter storm.

Between February 10 and 18, the storm brought sustained below-freezing temperatures to Texas, leading to burst pipes, overloaded heaters and rolling power outages.

Incoming calls to the home service shops jumped 7-fold during the week of February 15 through 21. Contractors have worked tirelessly to fix the leaks and repair the resulting damage, and ServiceTitan did its part to connect the affected shops with businesses that could help. 

To better understand the impact of the storm, ServiceTitan analyzed proprietary data on more than a hundred home services shops in Texas that relied on ServiceTitan since 2018. 

While the storm itself ended in less than two weeks, ServiceTitan data shows that its impacts spanned several subsequent months and still affect the demand in Texas.

Year-over-year relative to 2020 (YOY), calls spiked 250% in February, while revenue increased by 32% (see Figures 1A and 1B). For comparison, YOY growth in January was 20% for calls and 12% for revenue. 

The storm continued to have large impacts on the Texas contractors through March and April. YOY calls and revenue were up 61% and 37% in March, and 44% and 35% in April, respectively.

Because of the arctic temperatures’ effect on the pipes, plumbing services were by far the most affected by the storm. YOY growth in plumbing revenue jumped from 11% in January to 48% in February and to a remarkable 72% in March as contractors worked through the job backlog (see Figure 2A).

In April, the surge began to decrease, but even in May, the revenue growth for plumbing services remained above its January level. In contrast, the revenue growth for services other than plumbing did not see as big a surge in the months following the storm (see Figure 2B).

Note: Trades other than plumbing include HVAC, electrical, garage door, water treatment and others.

As the summer begins, ServiceTitan data suggests that the storm-related surge is about to end. Chris Hunter, ServiceTitan’s Director of Customer Relations, said, "Many businesses that have increased spending or headcount because of weather-driven demand should consider scaling back to pre-storm levels as the increased revenue from the demand surge is trending back to normal range. Some contractors may have readjusted budgets expecting this increase to sustain, but the data tells a different story.”

Note: Future job counts have been rescaled such that the average of weekly jobs in January 2021 equals 1.

If the current trends continue, future jobs—that is, jobs that are scheduled but not yet completed—are projected to return to pre-storm levels sometime in June or July (see Figure 3). Overall, data suggests that although the storm had a lasting effect, plumbing shops in Texas can expect a return to pre-storm job and revenue volumes shortly.

With weather events such as the winter storm that hit Texas earlier this year, it’s evident that there is a notable correlation between the weather and the trades. ServiceTitan will continue to analyze the broader impacts of weather and other events on the home services industry to provide actionable insights for our customers.

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