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Sunday, March 09, 2008

spring back to energy savings

I'm ambivalent about daylight savings. I love the longer daylight in the summer months but I despise dark mornings. I love that extra hour in the fall, dread losing an hour of sleep in the spring. But, I embrace the good, tolerate the bad. I figure the government hacks know what they're doing, right? Wrong. Maybe.

I grew up with the idea that daylight savings was prompted to help the farmers get their work done. Nope. Energy conservation. The idea being we will all be outside more in the evening hours, turning on fewer lights. But a recent study done in the state of Indiana suggests the opposite. Why Indiana? Because until 2005 it was a county by county thing. Some counties abided by daylight savings, others didn't. (Now I get why they're called Hoosiers: Hoo let THAT happen?) The study found that post-daylight savings uniformity, Hoosiers used MORE energy than they did when they weren't turning their clocks back. Confused? Read about it
here. Basically, heating and cooling seems to be the culprit. We're supposed to be outside in the evening hours enjoying the extra daylight, right? But it turns out we're still inside sucking up more AC longer. Who woulda thunk? And in those dark mornings, we're turning up the heat to keep warm.

So my ambivalence meter has taken a shift toward the bah humbug side of the daylight savings debate. Back to the whimsical period when we didn't have to go around changing every single timepiece in the house and office, when we didn't miss a plane because we forgot to change our clocks, when we didn't have a convenient excuse for why we're late two monday mornings each year, when our sleep/wake cycles remained undisturbed. And think - we may never have a need to fiddle with that pesky digital display on our dashboards again! Yeah, I can go for that.

5 comments:

Merelyme said...

yeah and they changed it this year to make it come even earlier. i miss my hour of sleep. Zzzzzz...

PhD in Yogurtry said...

right, and i'm wondering who it actually benefits to have longer periods of daylight savings?

FeministGal said...

this is so interesting because for the longest time i thought that changing day light savings dates was the only smart thing bush has done as president, now i know he even fucked this one up.

e. beck said...

ben franklin is who you can thank for the idea originally ... he wanted the french to do it to save money one candle usage! ..... then he came back here ... and we did it ....
i hate it!

AnnD said...

YES!! Such an interesting post! Especially because I'm a Hoosier. Born and raised. It's been weird having to change the clocks since I grew up here, I never had to before last year. I can't wait to try to put my daughter to bed at 8 pm this summer when it's still light until 9 pm!!!! I don't think it will happen to be honest. But, it is nice when I'm leaving work at 8 pm to not have it be dark! You can never be too careful at a psychiatrist's office by yourself!