Saturday, March 7

What's The Deal With Dayight Savings

Daylight savings time (DST) was originally adopted as a measure of conservation, but what exactly is being conserved? It all depends on who you ask, and possibly where you live.

A 2006 study in Indiana (2006 was the first year the whole state adopted DST!) found that the implementation of DST actually led to a 1% increase in residential electricity usage (suggesting increased demand for cooling on summer evenings and heating in early spring and late fall mornings could be responsible). In 2007, a California group used the four-week increase in DST to study the effect on energy use in California, and the differences were considered insignificant (within statistical margin for error). However, a nationwide analysis conducted by the US Dept. of Energy and presented to congress in 2008 concluded that the four-week extension of DST saved about 0.5 percent of the nation’s electricity per day, or enough to power approximately 100,000 households for a year.

All of this is all very interesting - but energy conservation is no longer the driving force behind DST. The biggest proponents of DST today are retailers, especially those involved in sports or outdoor recreation. Who is against DST? Farmers. Other effects of DST: reduction of traffic fatalities due to extra evening light, and possible affects on health and crime.

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