Did you remember to spring your clocks forward?
Daylight Saving Time began at 2:00 a.m., March 8, 2009.
While you are adjusting your time pieces and cursing the sleep you weren't allowed to enjoy, consider that the conventional wisdom that daylight-saving time reduces energy use is wrong.
In Indiana, because farmers resisted having to work an extra hour in the morning dark, only 15 of Indiana's 92 counties set their clocks an hour ahead in the spring and an hour back in the fall. The rest stayed on standard time all year. In 2006, the Indiana Legislature to put the entire state on Daylight Saving Time.
Indiana's change, provided an opportunity to study how the time shift affects energy use:
Using more than seven million monthly meter readings from Duke Energy Corp., covering nearly all the households in southern Indiana for three years, they were able to compare energy consumption before and after counties began observing daylight-saving time. Readings from counties that had already adopted daylight-saving time provided a control group that helped them to adjust for changes in weather from one year to the next.
The study concluded that switching the entire state switch to daylight-saving time each year consumed more energy:
• Residential electricity usage increased between 1% and 4%, amounting to $8.6 million a year. • Social costs from increased emissions were estimated at between $1.6 million and $5.3 million per year.
The reduced cost of lighting in afternoons during daylight-saving time is more than offset by the higher air-conditioning costs on hot afternoons and increased heating costs on cool mornings.
A 2007 study of the temporary extension of daylight-saving in two Australian territories for the 2000 Summer Olympics also found that changing clocks doesn't save energy.
The California Energy Commission's Demand Analysis Office, published a statistical analysis on the effect early Daylight Saving Time on California electricity consumption in May 2007 which found "little or no effect on energy consumption."
The erroneous conventional wisdom that Daylight Savings Time saves energy is based upon studies done in the 1970s by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Department of Transportation found about a one percent reduction country's electricity usage with Daylight Saving Time. The problem with relying on studies from the 70s is that air conditioning was nearly as prevalent then as it is today.
Just something to think about as you spend your Sunday sleep deprived.