Emerging Tech

Daylight saving shift equals daylight waste (of time)


Here's some shocking news for you -- the philosophy behind the early daylight saving change was a bunch of poppycock. Check out the news story: "Daylight saving shift fails to curb energy use."

According to the article, "The move to turn the clocks forward by an hour on March 11 rather than the usual early April date was mandated by the U.S. government as an energy-saving effort. But other than forcing millions of drowsy American workers and school children into the dark, wintry weather three weeks early, the move appears to have had little impact on power usage."

Didn't you wonder, when you first heard about the "energy-saving effort," how exactly getting up earlier was supposed to save energy? Well, so did the "Energy Department, which last year predicted only modest energy savings because the benefits of the later daylight hour would be offset. For example, households may draw less electricity for lights at night, but will use more power in the early in the day as they wake to darker and chillier mornings."

Several large utilities and power companies claim that they haven't seen any measurable impact. With a slight increase of lighting usage in the morning and slight decline of lighting usage in the evening, there is literally no effect on overall sales or earnings.

I'd like to spout off with a bunch of expletives, but I'm sure that the majority of people in this country are rolling their eyes in unison with equal frustration. Maybe next year the government will move up Christmas. I'm sure that there's a good justification for that somewhere.

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

48 comments
vernonjo
vernonjo

1. where are you? In the heartland people get up for work and school in the dark morning hours in April anyway (work starts around 7:30 school at 8:00 meaning up at 6:30 for commuting & school busing). Where within the timezone matters. Stating the obvious, the solar time varies 1 hour edge to edge in each zone. 2. Know numbers. Small changes from hundreds of energy suppliers is still a significant amount of energy. 3. Know your source. Ask an energy seller about the effectiveness of plan to reduce its sales, expect a response from an intern, edited by a P.R. or marketing manager.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't care what the justification was. I'm glad to have more daylight when I get home so I can get some yard work done. I wish we'd go to it year round. As to kids waiting in the dark for the bus, they were doing that when we were on Standard Time, so I'm not sure why it's an issue. Why is it called "Standard" time when we're on it less than 5 months of the year.

PapaWhiskey
PapaWhiskey

Sonja, I think you're wrong. In November, December and January it's dark when I go to work, and when I come home. I go to work at 7:30 A.M and the sun is just coming up. I leave work at 4:30 P.M., and when I get home at 5:00 P.M. it's dark. Unless you like darkness, why in the world would anyone enjoy this? It's just plain depressing, and I say do away with the time change in the fall and spring.

Hammer70
Hammer70

If you "do away" with daylight savings the sun is still going to come up until 7:30am and go down at 5:00pm during the winter. However, in the summer it'll be coming up at around 4:30am and go down around 8:00pm. Unless you're a morning person (I'll hazard a guess that most people are not) then keeping standard time will give more people something to gripe about. Now if you want to keep daylight savings year round, then in the winter the sun won't be coming up until 8:30am and going down at 6:00pm. Is that acceptable for most people? Personally I like it the way it is. So what if you lose an hour in the spring and gain the hour back in the fall. Is it really that much of an inconvenience to everyone? IMO, hardly. I have more important issues to deal with than changing the clocks twice a year.

Zeppo9191
Zeppo9191

It gave our congressmen (and women) something to add to their list of accomplishments, and it improved the economy by creating lots of overtime pay for IT professionals who had to code for and patch the millions of computers in the business community. On a more personal level, it was just an unenjoyable pain in the posterior. I have enough things in my life that produce said pain without Congress' help, thankyouverymuch.

ssangodare
ssangodare

I agree with all of you who complained about the DST. I don't think energy is saved by implementing the ardous task of moving back or roling forward the clock twice every year. May be we should ask the expert to stop the Sun or the Earth from rotating -heh? What a waste! Just leave the dam? clock alone and spare the watch makers and sellers from the agony of changing the time on every clock and wristwatch.

S,David
S,David

I have disliked DST since the Johnson Administration. The only use I see for it is that in Texas (where some pinhead decided that 70 mph is ok in daylight, but only 65 mph at night, as if you run off the road at night and hit a tree at 70 you die, but at 65, at night, hitting the same tree, you live) the speed limit stays higher longer. It fuzzes me up twice a year for a week.

btljooz
btljooz

the oil embargo of the early/mid 1970s should be able to recall the year that DST was in effect [b]ALL YEAR LONG[/b] [u]and[/u] the fact that it didn't do any good back then either. :| Aaahh, yes, history DOES in deed repeat itself! This time all that was accomplished was to get people to install a bunch of usless, disk space wasting [i]updates[/i] on their puters. This is the second time ...and counting... that the 'gov' has forced updates down computer users throats. Doesn't anyone wonder, "[b][u]WHY???[/u][/b] ?:| ]:) ;) EDIT: BTW, I agree 200% with Sonya B-)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

And that may be the real reason at the bottom of it all. *Apear* proactive or the consituants may start looking at the other guy... say.. when is election season? That's coming soon isn't it?

Techamateur
Techamateur

I couldn't agree more with Sonja. This has to be one of the most STUPID, IDIOTIC, MORONIC ideas anyone ever came up with, but considering the state of Congress lately (did anyone see Nancy Pelosi and her "Enough with the threats, there's a new Congress in town" speech? Who does she think she is, Marshal Dillon?) I've always wondered at the wisdom of "saving" daylight. Like there's a "Daylight Savings Bank & Trust" somewhere? ? ? If there is, is it FDIC insured. Should be since this "savings" was mandated by the government; and how much interest is my daylight savings earning anyway? We may not have to turn lights on until later, but you have to turn them on an hour earlier in the morning. HEEELLLLOOOOOOOO! ! Even someone with a modicum of intelligence can figure that one out. Personally, I like having the sun set earlier in the evening. Not only does the Sabbath begin earlier Friday evening, but you can sit by a bonfire earlier and roast kosher marshmallows Saturday night! And don't get me started as to the annual 4th of July fireworks bash. Can't even start them until 10:30 PM at the earliest since it's not dark enough until then. As far as playing golf after work. . . one would think the electrical companies would LOVE the golf clubs to have LIGHTED courses. All you need is a lighted, blinking golf ball and off you go! Same for fishing, just need a light on the front of your boat when you're ready to call it quits and LOTS of bug repellent! I've even seen rods that come with a glowing tip for night fishing. I think we need a nationwide poll as to how many people actually LIKE DST and rescind this stupid mandate this Fall when we "fall back" to "normal" time. WHEW, now that I've gotten all this off my chest, it's back to the salt mines!

dcrandell
dcrandell

I agree with you and you proof about the Lights and how they are on in the morning and not the night. It is so true. I do diasgree that the sun should set earlier, as I prefer to sit out on my back step with friends after a long day at work and just relax. I have never been able to enjoy the time before work. I am always looking at the clock to check the time so I am not late. It doesn't have to be late to roast anything on a fire that can be done at anytime. I do like your point about the fireworks, but I have also noticed that usually (here anyway MB, CAN) that after the sun goes down so do the bugs. Then it just gets so enjoyable outside. This is all a personal preferance, I know lost of people that like mornings. Don't get me wrong, I am not one to sleep in and have never been. If I sleep in one day I am thrown off for the next. I really don't see why we change the clocks all it does is confuse us for a couple days.

dcrandell
dcrandell

I have never kept Sabbath and have little knowledge of what it involves. The time change doesn't take affect until Saturday night or Sunday morning depending on how you look at it at 2AM. I do believe that the sun sets well before that. DST or no DST you will still be waiting for the sun to set which is going to be about 24 hours form it setting Friday night anyway. "And you don't even get to leave work early on Fridays during DST - not fair!" Does that mean that you get to leave early when DST isn't in effect?? If you do I would assume that you would lose that hour of pay.

Sereniti
Sereniti

"It doesn't have to be late to roast anything on a fire that can be done at anytime." If you read the entire post you reference, you'll note the poster referred to the Sabbath. Those who "keep Sabbath" (from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday) cannot build a fire at all on Friday night, and must wait until after sunset on Saturday to do so and roast their Kosher marshmallows. Hence the hour-longer wait during DST. And you don't even get to leave work early on Fridays during DST - not fair!

ed.adams
ed.adams

Did you ever wonder why we change back every fall? If it saves energy for part of the year, why not the whole year? Why not change once and be done with it? The only purpose to this I can see is to get people to put new batteries in their smoke detectors. An Eveready conspiracy, perhaps?!?!? :-)

TG2
TG2

In other words, you need coffee and hate to have to get up earlier to make it, after gathering the wood and kindling to start the fire and lets not forget getting the coffee cherries which you took the green beans from, roasted in your skillet and made some ultra dark roast out of before grinding it with a pessle and morter... oh yeah.. you didn't do any of that 'cause you couldn't see outside and just went back to bed instead... :) I'm with Sonja! Back to bed with all of us.. reclaim that hour.. save that "electron" on the wire... :)

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

I resemble that comment! ;-)

TG2
TG2

Yeah.. I figured' that'd get your attention.. :) Carpe Diem means Sieze De COFFEE!! O:-)

jacky.cheung
jacky.cheung

I only experienced the DST clock change ONCE when I stayed in FL for the disney international program and I fly back to HK before i change my clock back and get the hour back. So guys I SAVED 1 hour of daylight in the States and please if I need it some day I'll come get it. thanks for keeping it for me.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

But the mandate was never proven to me.I suspect that to change the Earth's master clock a U.N. referendum would be required.All countries would have to log in to alter this clock.Special engineers would have to be called.They would have to read the schematic and software to understand this rarely used system.The system could not be studied until all of Earth's countries logged in!The stress level is plane crashes and bank alarms!It was never meant to be changed.This might put this program level at a high risk.The government would see no advantage here.There also was no clear cut plan.Will we see the same thing again next year?(they made a snapshot of the system>the change was developed in a mock up by a consortium of engineers>a separate U.N.military group implemented the change and did some program updates)

eM DuBYaH
eM DuBYaH

Why not on your clocks and in your watch?

DanLM
DanLM

I know your not a troll. I start some really good topics. But then, you say something like this... And I go back to hu? Dan

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

As far as I can tell, he posts once on a topic and never returns. I've never seen him defend a position, although most of his positions are undefendable, like his DST rants. That's why he never saw any of the links multiple members posted telling him where to find the law detailing the new DST change schedule. But I gleefully read his every post, if only to see what dumb thing he'll say next.

SteveTheWirePuller
SteveTheWirePuller

He MuST Be PoSTed and LiSTeNiNG. FIrST GENEERAAASHUN zautoBLOG. He THaT iS BaLTHoR has calQLATed all time SaVeD. iT iS FuTILE, SiNCe THeRe iS No PLaCe To SToRe TiMe.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

1) Steve's being sarcastic. BALTHOR has a habit of posting his subjects in uppercase. Making fun of him is the fastest growing sport on the web. 2) You may want to reconsider using the term "newbie" to describe someone who's been a member almost a year longer than you have.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Cause that upper caps, lower caps I-wanna-be-all-l33tsp33k crap just sucks.

mark
mark

Wasn't the original suggestion by Benjamin Franklin a tongue in cheek answer to the French? I vaguely remember reading that Mr. Franklin was musing on the savings in candle wax adding up to a great sum, at the time... And wasn't he also one who repeated (if not origninated) "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man health, wealthy, and wise?" I of course, never much cared for the taste of worms... So I am not your normal early bird!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I believe both sources of guidance recommend early to bed, realy to rise. Zen Budism definately does, Bushido I may be wrong on but it's a safe guess.

turbinepilot
turbinepilot

Personally I'm enjoying the extra daylight after work. As for energy savings that may or may not be an issue. I suspect one would have to poll not only electric companies but other energy providers such as petroleum or natural gas to determine if the net energy effect is positive, negative or neutral. I did run across an interesting article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time) that claims a reduction in traffic fatalities during DST by about 1% depending upon the study. So not only do I enjoy more sunlit hours after work, the commute home is also safer.

TechinMN
TechinMN

"So not only do I enjoy more sunlit hours after work, the commute home is also safer." Sure, it's brighter after work...but it's darker when you go TO work, and many more people are driving INTO the sun while they are tired and a little messed up because their body has already adjusted to more early-morning daylight...only to have it yanked away from them. Naw, I don't buy it. The whole DST thing is stupid. Consider: the majority of businesses will have all their lights on anyway because they don't have any windows. And, since it's MUCH colder at that time of year, any light-based savings are going to be offset by increased heating costs, since people are getting up an hour earlier into the night's chill. Where's the savings? On top of that, I liked it when the sun went down before 10 o'clock. Not only did it start cooling the house down sooner after the day's summer heat, it started to slow down my light-adjust metabolism so I felt sleepy sooner. And as a parent, I loved it even more. Ever tried getting a young child to bed when the sun is still up? Yeah...riiiight!

Jonathan.G.Shilling
Jonathan.G.Shilling

According to an article I read, the reason DST was pushed up to March, was so that people would buy more from retail stores. Apparently, people would rather shop during the daylight hours rather than after dark, hence the earlier DST which "should" bring in more revenue for retail shops like Best Buy, Walmart, etc. At these least are the people most likely to benefit from the DST change. Just my two cents. L8TR. Check out the links below: http://enjaybee.typepad.com/the_coffee_hour/2007/03/ticktock.html http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7779869 http://money.cnn.com/2007/03/11/news/economy/bc.energy.gasoline.retail.reut/index.htm?postversion=2007031121 http://www.networkperformancedaily.com/2007/03/its_called_daylight_savings_ti.html http://www.courant.com/business/hc-daylight0310.artmar10,0,7780498.story?coll=hc-headlines-business

tundraroamer
tundraroamer

Lets see, in the next month or two, we will be pushing about 20 hours of useable daylight with twilight in between those times. Where is the savings? We need the extra hour(s) in the winter not summer. Northern latitudes unite -ban DST and join the WDST battle -Winter Daylight Savings Time. Or fly south with the geese.

TimT775
TimT775

The whole DST thing in general is useless. Let's just go back to normal time, all the time.

Hammer70
Hammer70

If we went back to "normal" time year round, the sun would be coming up and going down an hour earlier. I don't know about everyone else, but sitting out on the patio at 9:30pm DST with a beverage in hand watching the sun going down is pretty appealing.

rcrd
rcrd

Going back is a good idea. Re-patching or un-patching isn't. Will the government subsidise the cost by offering up the energy savings we got. This is a no-win no-win situation for everyone

glgruver
glgruver

It is a royal pain in the a.. changing the clocks. I too enjoy the "extra" time in the evening, but since I am a morning person, I would have no trouble going to work at 0600 hrs. Unfortunately, it appears that most of the world consists of "night owls" who have trouble waking up much before the crack of noon, ie my wife and daughter. As troublesome as the time changes are, it is probably the only way to get everybody to start the workday an hour earlier. BTW, I keep the clock in my ham shack on UTC, so the time stays constant year round, only the "local time" changes. I also have a binary clock in my office that I set for 24 hour format just to maintain my "geek" image. LOL

dporter
dporter

Yep - the DST pacthes forced many IT shops to pony up big $$$$. Honesty, DST is a major pain - it causes unessacary time shifts, it also screws with peoples internal clocks twice a year. I agree set the time once and forget it. but to be fair either leave it as is now, or only move it back a half hour next time

DanKe
DanKe

I see now!! That makes sense.. It's a ratio game. Gotta have what, like 3:1 people turning their clocks back in order for this to work.. I'm starting a petition, who's with me?? check out this video.. It makes me SICK to be a human, not an American. People are like this everywhere. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJuNgBkloFE

Sereniti
Sereniti

...to turn their clocks four hours ahead if you wanted to burn up the earth. It's the mass behavior of the North American population that exerts control over the natural processes of the solar system. Kidding aside, thanks for making the comment, Dan. I was amazed - strike that, appalled - that someone on these boards would point out (apparently seriously) that the sun was actually shining and hour longer than usual during the course of a 24-hr day because Americans turned their clocks forward. Whatever happened to independent, cognitive thinking and common sense? Don't EVEN get me started...

DanKe
DanKe

So you're telling me if I decided to burn the earth up, I could just set my clock back saaaay 4 hours and that would make the sun stay up an extra 4 hours? So our clocks actually do control the earth's rotation around the sun... AND the angle of the axis. We can't be monkeys.. I'm convinced. By the way: Time is an illusion, people. I like to call it entropy.

glgruver
glgruver

Why nobody ever suggested something like that. Guess it makes too much sense and you know Congress would never stand for that! I did hear that some parts of the Country stays with standard time because they are afraid that the extra hour of sunshine would burn up the crops. Don't know how true that is, but I guess "if it is on the internet, it must be true."

nigel.forge
nigel.forge

Well Sonja, they coined an expression to match your prose - hitting the nail on the head. I thought it was only me that could see the irony of the situation, now I know differently. Thanks for telling it like it is. Nigel

jwilczek
jwilczek

It sure does make it easier for me to go fishing after work.

cdpitcock
cdpitcock

You guys who go golfing do't live in ski country. They still close the lifts at 3:30 which is really 2:30 when the sun is shining. It is a conspriacy by the lift operators so they can go skiing after running us off.

mdbradsh
mdbradsh

I'm from a state where we fought off switching to DST for a long, long time. That's because years & years ago we practiced DST and most people didn't like it then. People didn't like having to change their clocks twice a year, inevitably being late one time and too early the next in some years. So we did away with it. The only reason we went back to it recently was because of the businesses lobbying for it. It really only benefits business that communicate interstate. I still have to go to bed at the same time, and get up at the same time so it hasn't given me any more of squat, except for now I go to bed in daylight most of the year! As far as the earlier time shift this year, I'm sure any little energy savings was more than made up for in expense to reprogram computers,servers, networks and the like accross the country. Lots of overtime for the IT workers I guess, if you want to count that. So I'm bah-humbug about it. Wouldn't hurt my feelings to go back to one standard time, year in , year out!

jeff.overright.cwfa
jeff.overright.cwfa

I don't mind going to work when it's dark but hate it when I'm coming home. More daylight in the evening makes it feel like Spring came 3 weeks early. I LIKE IT.

hog43
hog43

I'm loving it. Playing 18 holes after work this early in the year used to be impossible for me. Also, I don't care how dark it is in the morning, since I have to go to work anyway.

sbarringer
sbarringer

Extending time to play golf, for the elite Washington types, was the real and original reason for daylight savings time. They just disguised it with other excuses so the working folks wouldn't object to being pryed out of bed an hour earlier so the privileged can play longer. Just the facts of the situation.

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