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Daylight Savings and Energy Wastings

Daylight savings time was introduced to save energy, but it turns out it actually does the opposite. The economist Matthew Kotchen looked at...




Daylight savings time was introduced to save energy, but it turns out it actually does the opposite. The economist Matthew Kotchen looked at how the 2006 switch to daylight savings time in certain Indiana counties affected electricity use:

The result of the study showed that electricity use went up in the counties adopting daylight saving time in 2006, costing $8.6 million more in household electricity bills. The conclusion reached by Kotchen and Grant was that while the lighting costs were reduced in the afternoons by daylight saving, the greater heating costs in the mornings, and more use of air-conditioners on hot afternoons more than offset these savings. Kotchen said the results were more “clear and unambiguous” than results in any other paper he had presented.

I don't have strong feelings about daylight savings time. It's a nice surprise in the fall, and a brief bummer in the spring. Overall, I like having sunlight for more of the evening. But to the extent that it exists to save energy, it looks like its time to reevaluate the practice. And I'm sure it costs our economy real money in missed appointments and general confusion.