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Daylight Saving Time Wastes Energy 550

An anonymous reader writes "With the time approaching when we'll be changing our clocks again, the Wall Street Journal is running a timely article on a study done by a UC-Santa Barbara economics professor and a Ph.D. student. The study unambiguously concludes that Daylight Saving Time not only doesn't save any energy, it actually wastes energy and costs more. The study used energy company records from Indiana before and after that state mandated DST for all of its counties, and calculated that the switch cost Indiana citizens $8.6M per year. 'I've never had a paper with such a clear and unambiguous finding as this,' the professor said."
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Daylight Saving Time Wastes Energy

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @02:34AM (#22632634)
    From TFA:
    "One study of the situation in Indiana cannot accurately asses the impact of [daylight-saving time] changes across the nation, especially when it does not include more northern, colder regions," the congressman (Mr. Markey) notes.
  • Who's shocked? (Score:3, Informative)

    by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@tpno-co.oLISPrg minus language> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @02:34AM (#22632638) Homepage
    I've had my suspicions for a while, but honestly, who's shocked? This world is run on money. If you see a politician pushing something, just follow the money trail and you'll find their backers.

    Puts a whole new spin on our candidates, don't it? Look at their "platforms", then look at their voting history. The patterns are usually blatantly obvious for any who so chose to look. It's then the job of the candidates ( and their parties ) to bullshit us into believing we aren't seeing what we're seeing. It's all smoke and mirrors.

    Don't look behind the curtain, folks, just punch the ticket and elect the next nutjob into office.
  • well thats different (Score:2, Informative)

    by malignant_minded ( 884324 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @02:48AM (#22632722)
    ...Still, the Transportation Department study stuck. Speaking before the House of Representatives in 2002, Indiana Rep. Julia Carson said that under daylight-saving time, Indiana families would save "over $7 million annually in electricity rates alone...

    then a study by University of California-Santa Barbara economics professor Matthew Kotchen and Ph.D. student Laura Grant

    ...Using more than seven million monthly meter readings from Duke Energy Corp., covering nearly all the households in southern Indiana for three years...

    ...Their finding: Having the entire state switch to daylight-saving time each year, rather than stay on standard time, costs Indiana households an additional $8.6 million in electricity bills...
  • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @02:52AM (#22632734)
    We did that here in Saskatchewan. We've been on year-round DST since 1966, a fact the "let's go DST" crowd seems to blissfully ignore.
  • No, Really! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @02:52AM (#22632742) Homepage Journal
    Look at how Kingsford crows about the earlier institution of DST in this press release []. I bet they do serious lobbying on this issue.
  • Re:Who Benefits? (Score:5, Informative)

    by belmolis ( 702863 ) <{billposer} {at} {}> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @03:35AM (#22632956) Homepage

    Uh, there are such things as curtains and shutters.

    The Japanese didn't see the benefit of DST. The US imposed it during the Occupation. The first thing the Japanese government did when it regained control was get rid of it.

  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @03:55AM (#22633068) Homepage Journal
    Glass is a win, too. Lasts forever in a landfill, but makes great house insulation if you recycle it. Given that sand mining in California is now from underwater, that's got to be a win. Paper and used cartons get bought, so I'd be surprised if they weren't a win too. Out here in Berkeley there's a biowaste can for yard and food waste, and they compost it en masse, with proper temperature and agitation, not like most backyard compost. The city doesn't buy fertilizer, and they get enough extra to hand out sacks of beautiful carbon and nitrogen rich black soil to the residents. Plants shoot up on that stuff. There is a commercial styrofoam recycling plant in Oakland.

    So, what's left is plastic.

  • Re:Who Benefits? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bios_Hakr ( 68586 ) <> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @04:00AM (#22633096)
    No confusion. In the summers in Japan, the sunrise times are between 4:30am and 5am. DST would push that back to a more reasonable 5:30~6am.

    Also, with DST, you get another hour of daylight tacked on to the end of a summer day. In Japan, the summer sunset is around 7pm. It'd be nice to have sun until 8pm.

    A third point to consider is that these are the hours that the sun breaks the horizon. It starts getting light as early as 3:30am and is usually completely dark by 8pm.

    In short, DST is nice if you like to do things on summer afternoons.
  • Re:Who Benefits? (Score:4, Informative)

    by LordVader717 ( 888547 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @04:06AM (#22633120) []

    Hokkaido in June for example, reveals times all before 4am.
  • Re:Who Benefits? (Score:5, Informative)

    by locofungus ( 179280 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @04:19AM (#22633198)

    The sun coming up at 4am is not a cool thing.

    WTF? Are you confusing Daylight Savings Time with Time Zones maybe?

    No. It's called living in high latitudes.

    In London, even with daylight saving, the sun rises at 04:45 for all of June.

    Even now, it's light when I get up in the morning at 06:30 but it's dark before I leave work in the evening.

    It's much harder to take advantage of daylight hours in the morning when you are working. I cycle - but I can't go out for half an hour in the morning because I need to be in the shower by 06:35 if I'm going to catch my train to work in the morning, which means I'll be getting at this time of year just around sunrise. Give me that hour in the evening instead and I can have a shower, get cleaned up, whatever, once the sun has gone down.

    I'd like summer time in the winter and double summer time in the summer (or even triple summer time). On the longest day It's sunrise at 04:43 - and almost nobody is up and around at that time. But it's sunset at 21:22 and there are lots of people out and about at that time. And that's with summer time giving us an extra hour in the evening.

    Several safety groups in the UK claim (I haven't seen the figures) that there's a spike in road traffic accidents to children when the clocks go back. Roughly, it goes from sunset at 17:45 to sunset at 16:45 across the UK.

    Aberdeen, at the other end of the UK, gets sun from 04:12 to 22:08 on the longest day. On the shortest day it's 08:46 to 15:27.

  • by Spikeles ( 972972 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:00AM (#22633780)
    I wonder if they read a similar paper from a year ago?

    RYAN M. KELLOGG and Hendrik Wolff, "Does Extending Daylight Saving Time Save Energy? Evidence from an Australian Experiment" (February 14, 2007). Center for the Study of Energy Markets. Paper CSEMWP-163. []

    Maybe there should be some kind of central place we could all use to search for papers that have some bearing our subject matter?
  • Re:Um... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jarik C-Bol ( 894741 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @09:03AM (#22634414)
    exactly, every time the time change rolls around, i go around swearing it'd be simpler to just change the clocks 30 minutes in the direction we're supposed to change them at that time and then never ever ever do it again. I'm obviously not complaining to the correct people.
  • Re:Who Benefits? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zenaku ( 821866 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @09:59AM (#22634844)
    Well, Star Trek is fiction, and doesn't take into account relativity. The very concept of "On another planet this same moment in time" is a contradiction, because the passage of time depends on your frame of reference.

    I am not a physicist and don't follow the math, but one of the things that general relativity says is that just because some event A happens before some event B when observed from our frame of reference, doesn't mean those same events happen in that order when observed from another frame of reference. If you are on Earth and I'm on Chiron Beta Prime, and we are looking at two stars going super-nova, and in your frame of reference Star A goes before Star B, I may observe Star B to go nova before A.

    It's not just a speed of light thing either, there is simply no absolute frame of reference for time, just as there is no absolute "center" of the universe. The lack of an absolute frame of reference makes it impossible to define a consistent "universal clock."
  • Re:Who Benefits? (Score:3, Informative)

    by DudeTheMath ( 522264 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @10:36AM (#22635238) Homepage
    Indiana, which was the subject of the study, lags quite a bit. The eastern edge of the state (Fort Wayne) is about 85 degrees west longitude, 10 degrees west of the notional center of "GMT+5" (360 / 24 = 15; 5 * 15 = 75). So the eastern edge of the state is already ten minutes into the notional "GMT+6", and the western edge (Vincennes, Terre Haute; Gary is on Chicago time anyway) is about 87.5, a full twenty minutes into GMT+6. So the particular money-wasters mentioned in TFA, heating in the morning (from getting up earlier) and cooling in the afternoon (getting home from work/school earlier) are exaggerated by the fact that the state's solar time is already, on average, forty-five minutes behind the clock time. I've long maintained that Indiana (and Michigan and western Ohio, for that matter) belong on GMT+6 anyway. But nobody listens to mathematicians.
  • Re:Who Benefits? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @12:45PM (#22636948) Journal

    Well, Star Trek is fiction, and doesn't take into account relativity.
    Actually, the point was to take into account relativity. There is no unique "simultaneous" between two distant places, but you are free to define a "now". It's just that the universe won't respect it; the mere definition of a "now" won't prevent the usual litany of FTL paradoxes, which Star Trek (and all TV science fiction) generally just ignore... what else can they do?

    This isn't fiction, we already do this. We have several systems that have tight enough tolerances that we need to define a "now" that is much more precise than the lightspeed communication delays inherent in the system. The GPS system is one of the more well-documented instances of that; the entire system needs to share a "now" to much greater precision than they could hope to directly communicate, and we don't have a problem defining a useful "now" for the system.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:12PM (#22642066)
    "When did Perth join the 21st century and get DST?"

    I believe they are just completing the second year of a three year trial of DST, after which there is supposed to be a referendum on making it a permanent, annual event.

    There are lot of unhappy people in WA who are trying to get the referendum moved up so they can have DST tossed out (again).

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