Is Daylight Saving Time Worth The Energy?

Daylight Saving Time vs. Standard Time

Daylight Saving Time vs. Standard Time

If you’re a parent of young children, you already understand the steep emotional and psychological costs of switching from Daylight Saving Time (DST) to Standard Time. This year, it took us a month to get Frances to re-adjust to the earlier schedule and stop waking up an hour before the alarm clock went off. I’m not sure who it was harder on; the parents who had to get up extra early each day, or Franci that couldn’t seem to make up for the lost sleep during her nap.

Environmental Impact

Personal issues aside, what about the environmental impact of changing the clocks twice a year? It turns out to be a bit of a wash, and very much dependent upon where you live. While you might not turn your lights on until later in the day, residents in southern locations are more likely to turn on their AC when they get home and leave it running for more hours. Despite the fact that DST was implemented to promote energy conservation, it no longer achieves that result because of the proliferation of AC units in residential locations. Back in the 1970’s, studies showed that the country’s electricity usage was down one percent per day during DST months, but 45 years later, it is actually up 1-4% due to cooling expenses.
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