Daylight Saving Time in the United States …

Begins at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 10, 2013  (Second Sunday in March)

  Ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 3  (First Sunday in November)

Daylight Savings Time is generally not observed in Hawaii and Arizona

Does Daylight Savings Time Work to save energy?

In this era of expensive energy and ever rising costs, I was wondering if the extension of Daylight Savings Time by Congress in ….actually resulted in measurable costs savings. 

In 2005 the 109th Congress enacted P.L. 109-58, the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Section 110 of this Act amends the Uniform Time Act, changing the beginning of DST to the second Sunday in March and the ending of DST to the first Sunday in November.

This change will take effect in March of 2007. The Act requires the Secretary of Commerce to report to Congress within nine months of this date on the impact of this section on energy consumption in the United States. Congress retains the right to revert the Daylight Saving Time back to the 2005 time schedules once the Department study is complete

The report results …

This report presents the results of impacts of Extended Daylight Saving Time on the national energy consumption in the United States. The key findings are:

  • The total electricity savings of Extended Daylight Saving Time were about 1.3 Tera Watt-hour (TWh). This corresponds to 0.5 percent per each day of Extended Daylight Saving Time, or 0.03 percent of electricity consumption over the year. In reference, the total 2007 electricity consumption in the United States was 3,900 TWh.
  • In terms of national primary energy consumption, the electricity savings translate to a reduction of 17 Trillion Btu (TBtu) over the spring and fall Extended Daylight Saving Time periods, or roughly 0.02 percent of total U.S. energy consumption during 2007 of 101,000 TBtu.
  • During Extended Daylight Saving Time, electricity savings generally occurred over a three- to five-hour period in the evening with small increases in usage during the early-morning hours. On a daily percentage basis, electricity savings were slightly greater during the March (spring) extension of Extended Daylight Saving Time than the November (fall) extension. On a regional basis, some southern portions of the United States exhibited slightly smaller impacts of Extended Daylight Saving Time on energy savings compared to the northern regions, a result possibly due to a small, offsetting increase in household air conditioning usage.
  • Changes in national traffic volume and motor gasoline consumption for passenger vehicles in 2007 were determined to be statistically insignificant and therefore, could not be attributed to Extended Daylight Saving Time.

The footnotes …

  • For the statistical analysis, total savings of electricity during the four weeks of EDST in 2007 was 1.2 TWh. This also corresponds to a total primary energy savings of 17 TBtu. The statistical variation on this result is ±40 percent (at a 95 percent level of confidence).
  • Based on the statistical analysis, the average daily percent savings in electricity consumption for the North were 0.51 percent, while in the South the savings were 0.42 percent.
  • There is insufficient statistical evidence that the EDST period has had any measurable impact on motor gasoline consumption for passenger vehicles or traffic volume in 2007.

Bottom line …

The above study tends to illustrate that the energy savings were minimal to non-existent and that the government’s sampling program of energy usage could statistically affect the numbers reported.

Common sense will tell you that energy savings is keyed to two major variables: the state of the economy and the local temperature. If business is booming, more energy will be used to produce goods and services. If temperatures rise, more energy will be consumed by air conditioning, and falling temperatures indicate more energy will be consumed by heating.

In today’s dismal economy, you are likely to find less energy usage as economic activity is depressed, less fuel consumption as fuel prices rise substantially above historical levels, and less use of heating and air conditioning as utility rates rise.

My conclusion, therefore, is that the extended Daylight Savings Time does not mean diddly squat and that our government’s corruption, malfeasance and incompetence has resulted in a lower standard of living while increasing government revenues. This can be best explained with an analogy based in education. More and more money is being poured into a failing educational system when any real progress is managed by dumbing-down the curriculum and the achievement tests so as to disguise the waste, fraud and abuse of the system.

So for all the rhetoric surrounding the justification for an extended daylight savings time, it appears to be little more than governmental liberal “feel good” hot air.

-- steve

Reference Links …

2008 Report to Congress

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