Don’t forget to change your clocks tomorrow!
Daylight Savings Time is a touchy subject. Some people love it. Others hate it. But one thing that everyone can agree on is that Daylight Savings Time is confusing! We all know that Daylight Savings Time means we “spring forward” and lose an hour of sleep – “Fall Back” we lose an hour. Does that actually save us money and do we actually save on electricity? In this article, we will take a look at the history of Daylight Savings Time and see if there are any benefits to observing it here in the United States.
What Is Daylight Savings Time?
Daylight Savings Time is a system that was first implemented in the early 1918s in an effort to conserve energy. The idea is that by moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, we can save on lighting costs. Daylight Savings Time is observed in over 70 countries around the world, but it is not without its critics. Many people argue that Daylight Savings Time is outdated and no longer necessary. So, does Daylight Savings Time actually save us money?
The History of Daylight Savings Time
Daylight Savings Time was first proposed in 1895 by George Hudson, a New Zealand entomologist who wanted more time to collect insects in the evenings. It wasn’t until 1905 that the concept was first implemented in Thunder Bay, Canada. In 1918, the United States passed the Standard Time Act, establishing time zones and creating Daylight Savings Time. The act was repealed just a year later, but Daylight Savings Time was reinstated during World War II as a way to conserve energy. After the war, Daylight Savings Time remained in effect until 1966, when it was finally abolished.
Do We Save Money From Daylight Savings Time?
So, does Daylight Savings Time actually save us money? The answer is a little complicated.
When daylight time was extended nationwide, it seemed like an opportunity to cut down on energy use. But California Energy Commission’s economists found that this did not effect how much people used their lights or appliances at all! The observed drop in measured electricity consumption by 0.2% fell within the statistical margin of error, meaning there could have been any number between -1% and 1%.
The U.S Department of Energy has looked at the potential impact daylight saving changes have on America’s electric utilities. And their findings show that it might not be as bad for our energy consumption rates! All the analysis has been inconclusive, so we’re not really sure if DST is really conserving any energy at all.
The Energy Department conducted research in 2008 and found that DST adds an extra four weeks of daylight in springtime, which saves about 0.5 percent on U.S electricity per day! However, the study also found that DST causes an increase in energy consumption in the fall and winter months. So while we may save a little bit of money from DST, it’s not a huge amount.
Some Benefits Of Daylight Savings Time
While we may not save a ton of money from Daylight Savings Time, observing it has some benefits. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
1) DST Can Help Reduce Traffic Accidents:
One of the most often-cited benefits of daylight savings time is that it can help to reduce traffic accidents. This is because there is less need for commuters to travel in the dark, which can be a major contributing factor to accidents. In fact, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that DST results in a 7% reduction in traffic fatalities. In addition, DST can also help reduce pedestrian-related accidents by increasing the amount of daylight available in the evening.
2) DST Can Boost Economic Activity:
Some businesses see a boost in economic activity during daylight savings time. More people are likely to shop and dine out later in the day when more daylight is available. In particular, businesses geared towards outdoor activities, such as golf courses and restaurants with outdoor seating, tend to see an uptick in business during DST. Retailers also see an increase in sales during DST, as people take advantage of the extra hour of daylight to run errands and do other shopping.
3) DST Can Help Save Energy:
Many people believe that daylight saving time helps save energy, although there is some debate on this issue. The theory is that when more daylight is available in the evening, people are less likely to rely on artificial lighting and instead take advantage of natural light. In contrast, there is some evidence to support this claim. Other studies have found that DST actually results in a small increase in energy consumption. However, regardless of its effect on energy use, most people believe DST is beneficial because it gives us an extra hour of daylight to enjoy.
4) DST Can Improve Sleep:
Some research has shown that daylight savings time can actually improve sleep patterns. This is because the extra hour of daylight in the evening allows people to get outside and enjoy natural sunlight, which helps to regulate the body’s internal clock. In addition, the extra hour of daylight can also help people to wind down at the end of the day and get ready for bed. As a result, people who observe daylight savings time tend to get more sleep overall.
Daylight savings time is a controversial topic. Some people love it because they get an extra hour of sunlight in the evening. While others hate it because it throws off their sleep schedule. But does daylight savings time actually save us money? The answer is complicated. While some studies show that we do save energy, other research indicates that the benefits may not be as significant as we think. What’s clear is that there are pros and cons to daylight savings time, so you need to weigh the evidence carefully before deciding whether or not to participate. Have you ever participated in daylight savings time? If so, what are your thoughts on it?