Is daylight-saving time a complete waste of energy?
This weekend the clocks “spring forward.” I’m not a huge fan of DST . In fact, I’m not a fan of anything that steals one hour of precious sleep away from me. But I always took comfort in the fact that it was at least good for the environment, saving energy and money. However, a new study says “maybe not.”
The Wall Street Journal has brought to light a study based in Indiana that challenges the very idea of DST. Until a few years ago, just 15 of the 92 counties in Indiana set their clocks one-hour ahead in spring (and back again in fall). This was due to farmers not wanting to work in the dark; but in 2006 everyone was put on DST. And that gave some bright sparks at the University of California-Santa Barbara the perfect chance to test the effectiveness of DST.
Over the course of three years, a staggering seven million monthly meter readings were taken from households in southern Indiana. And the results? Switching to DST costs Indiana households an additional $8.6 million in electricity. And in this day and age, can we afford to be throwing away money like that?
Well, what the study doesn't take into account are the social implications of DST. There have been other studies done showing that DST results in lower crime, less traffic fatalities, a lot more recreation time and most importantly, increased economic activity. So, perhaps the money lost on the time change is made up in other ways?
It’s not like we can do anything about it anyway, DST is the law of the land and we have to abide by it. But it will certainly make getting out of bed at 6am instead of 7am even tougher come Monday morning.
Strong coffee anyone?