Saturday, March 10, 2012

Daylight Saving Time:What's the Cost?

The foremost rationale behind daylight saving time has always been energy conservation–from sparing coal usage for incandescent lighting in the 1910′s to conserving oil during the embargo in the 1970′s. The underlying logic seems to make sense: more daylight hours, less electricity needed for lighting.
But a 2008 study from the University of California Energy Institute revealed that there’s actually very little evidence to suggest it saves any energy at all.
The study takes its data from a natural experiment done in Indiana, which provided information on residential energy consumption. From this, the study’s authors were able to “provide the first empirical estimates of daylight saving time effects on electricity consumption in the United States since the mid-1970s.”
The main finding? Daylight saving time actually increases electricity demand, instead of lessening it. Daylight saving time caused electrical demand to rise almost 1 percent each year overall–with a much heavier increase of 2-4 percent in the fall, when residents “fall back” an hour.
While supposedly conserving electricity for lighting, daylight saving time is requiring even more energy for heating and air conditioning–around $9 million more. That’s right, the study estimates daylight saving time actually costs Indiana residents $9 million a year. 
Check THIS out.
The study projects the effect is even more pronounced in other areas of the US and the world. That could easily amount to billions of dollars a year spent on unnecessary energy consumption.
Daylight Saving is practiced in 76 countries and affects around 1.6 billion people. If indeed it turns out that it’s causing needless energy consumption–eradicating the long held convention could spare countless pounds of greenhouse gas, and save economies around the globe considerable strain.

At the age of 78, in a moment of whimsy, Benjamin Franklin wrote An Economical Project, a discourse on the thrift of natural versus artificial lighting. He included several funny regulations that Paris might adopt to help. Over two centuries later, nations around the world use a variation of his concept to conserve energy and more fully enjoy the benefits of daylight.
Click picture
Daylight saving time was meant as a joke!
The joke is on us Ben, we are religiously observing daylight savings time even 225 years after the punchline.
Ol' Ben and his money grin

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