Thursday, March 3, 2011

Does daylight savings time actually save energy?

The second Sunday in March marks the beginning of daylight savings time 2011. Congress declared an earlier start date for daylight savings time five years ago, believing that stretching the period would save power. A provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 enacted the change, but whether it has produced energy savings is disputed.

Daylight saving time approaching means one less hour in the day

Dealing with daylight conserving time 2011 can be a hassle for every person in the U.S. except those living in Hawaii and Arizona. On March thirteen, at 2 a.m., every person will have to move their clocks forward an hour. The reason why daylight conserving time occurs is to save energy. This has been the case since Germany wanted to save on coal in World War I starting this tradition. The need for electric lighting goes down when an additional hour of day is added with daylight conserving time. Many compare daylight conserving time to cutting off an end of a rope and adding it to another end by manipulating clocks. Since industries in retail and outdoor recreation get benefits from daylight conserving time, farming and entertainment end up having a difficult time with it making it controversial.

Benefits of energy conserving

To encourage energy savings, a provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended the period of daylight conserving time by four weeks. The change amended the Uniform Time Act of 1966, and the earlier “spring forward” time was first enacted on March 11, 2007. Those in charge of writing the Energy Policy Act of 2005 said there would be energy savings due to this extension. The savings would be of 1 percent. However, a study in Indiana after that state put all counties on daylight conserving time in 2006 found a net decrease in energy savings. Converting the entire state to daylight saving time cost Indiana households an additional $8.6 million in utility bills because of higher heating costs in the morning and higher air conditioning costs in the afternoon.

Seeing the things people want and don't want with Daylight conserving time

Because of sleep deprivation, there is actually a rise in heart attacks during the first week of daylight savings even though it may not save energy. Fatal vehicle crashes and automobile collisions with pedestrians end up going down because of daylight saving time though.

Articles cited

U.S. News and World Report

Wall Street Journal


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