Monday, March 10, 2008

Does Daylight Saving Time Waste Energy?

I have always hated daylight saving time, but believed it could be justified on the basis that it saved energy. Now, a new study syggests otherwise.

As reported by NPR and USA Today, the study was done in Indiana where until recently most counties did not observe daylight saving. It seems that the study was based solely upon comparison of domestic electricity bills, comparing those before and after the change in counties applying daylight saving for the first time and using the counties which did not change as a control. Which makes it hard to see how it would have data to justify the conclusion like that while people saved money on lighting they spent more on heating and cooling. The study also did not consider non-domestic consumption, for example in schools and work places, so I would not regard it as definitive.

However, this is an area which warrants further study because it could be one small contribution to energy conservation and hence to combating climate change.

For the full interview with study leader Matthew J. Kotchen in USA Today see

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