Daylight Savings Time

March 31, 2008 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Politics 572 views

Rate this post:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Europe, and the rest of the non-US world that likes taking an hour of sleep from its citizens every spring, changed over to daylight savings time this weekend. They had a special report about it on the mid-day Saturday news. The reporter was interviewing a nerdy-looking fellow who was sitting at a huge switchboard full of flickering lights and monitors showing graphs and maps and things. He was some scientist working for an important electricity provider in Spain. The man said…

Over the past several years, we’ve been monitoring the effects of daylight savings time. Every year, we show a huge drop in power usage after the time change because people are turning on their lights an hour later. And it really is a significant change! The total energy savings every evening due to daylight savings time is X.

At about this time, I turn to my wife and say, “You know, that really makes a lot of sense. This is why the US Congress moved daylight savings time up a couple weeks starting last year. Also, I heard that it was originally invented to save on candles.”1

About this time, the man the the telly continued…

But… Although we see a significant drop of energy usage of X in the evenings, we see a rise of energy usage in the mornings of exactly X. The same lights that are turned on an hour later at night are turned on an hour earlier every morning, thus resulting in a zero net energy savings due to daylight savings time.

So I turn to my wife and say, “You know, that makes a lot of sense. Daylight savings time is stupid.”

1It turns out that daylight savings time was really invented to play more golf in the evenings. Figures.

  • I know that it’s fairly pointless, but I can’t help liking it (even though in the spring it gives the illusion of ‘losing’ an hour). The change in apparent sunrise/set times makes everything feel new and different.

    Now go play some golf.

  • Personally, I prefer the relationship between the clock and the sunset a lot more in DST than I do in “regular” time. I’d prefer to just never change back in Autumn.

  • I like it because it means I can ride to work in the light and I can ride home in the light which makes me feel safer.

    In a few weeks we will be able take a picnic and a bottle of wine to the park in the evenings after work on one of the four or five days of summer in London.