As COVID-19 spreads worldwide, governments have been implementing a wide range of measures to contain it, from movement restrictions to economy-wide shutdowns. Understanding their impacts is essential to support better policies for countries still experiencing outbreaks or in case of emergence of subsequent pandemic waves. Here we show that the cumulative decline in electricity consumption within the 5 months following the stay-home orders ranges between 3% and 12% in the most affected EU countries and USA states, except Florida, which shows no significant impact. Italy, France, Spain, California, Austria, and New York have recovered baseline consumption by the end of July, whereas Great Britain and Germany remain below baseline levels. We also show that the relationship between measures stringency and daily decline in electricity consumption is nonlinear. These results illustrate the severity of the crisis across countries and can support further research on the effect of specific measures.