Why Daylight Saving Time?

Robert of Crockery Township asked, "Why did Congress, a few years ago, vote to change the beginning and ending dates for Daylight Saving Time?"
Mark Brooky
Mar 11, 2013

Robert continued: "DST now begins two weeks before Equinox and three weeks earlier than it did before their vote. Our children once again have to wait for the bus in the dark, and why do we need an extra hour of sunshine in the afternoons in March?"

ANSWER:

Since 2007, Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. Spring forward and fall back.

Clocks are set ahead one hour at 2 a.m. local standard time on the second Sunday in March, which was this past Sunday, so it becomes 3 a.m. local daylight time. On the first Sunday in November, clocks are set back an hour at 2 a.m. local daylight time, making it 1 a.m. local standard time.

These dates were established by Congress in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

According to a report from the California Energy Commission, "One of the biggest reasons we change our clocks to Daylight Saving Time (DST) is that it reportedly saves electricity. Newer studies, however, are challenging long-held reason."

The explanation in the report for DST: "In general, energy use and the demand for electricity for lighting our homes is directly connected to when we go to bed and when we get up. Bedtime for most of us is late evening through the year. When we go to bed, we turn off the lights and TV.

"In the average home, 25 percent of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos. A good percentage of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurs in the evening when families are home. By moving the clock ahead one hour, we can cut the amount of electricity we consume each day."

Before the 2007 change, DST began on the last Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday of October.

For information about a group that advocates ending Daylight Saving Time, CLICK HERE.

Comments

16damons

Anyone else notice that Sunday afternoon (March 10, 2013) the Michigan Lottery system had multiple malfunctions because the lottery computers did not allow for daylight savings time? In fact, for "Club Keno" (as an example) daylight savings time went in reverse, somehow... by four hours. LOL. If the same mistake is made this fall (when clocks leap forward), I'll have an afternoon of winning numbers. Maybe I'll get a vendors' license and buy a chunk of heated sidewalk for homeless people to stand and distribute worthless literature so their feet stay warm.

LessThanAmused

"If the same mistake is made this fall (when clocks leap forward), I'll have an afternoon of winning numbers."

Nice thought but Me thinks you may be a bit confused by the whole process. Ever hear the old DST adgage "SPRING forward, FALL back?"

LessThanAmused

I can't say as I've ever seen much use in DST. Most, if not all of the reasons for it are failed arguments, like the one below.

"In the average home, 25 percent of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos. A good percentage of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurs in the evening when families are home. By moving the clock ahead one hour, we can cut the amount of electricity we consume each day."

This whole paragraph is a failed argument. First off, my employer doesn't change my schedule to match DST so assuming my daily work schedule is 8 to 5 and I to go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 6am year round how do I save electricity by moving the clock forward an hour? I may have a bit more light in the evening, but now when I wake up in the morning it's completely dark out so I need to turn lights on so I can get ready for work. Before DST kicked in I didn't have to... How does this save electricity? it's just moves the hour of useage from the evening to the morning hour. Of course this is less of an issue on both ends as we get further and further into longer days, but at this time of year there's virtually no benefit.

This time of year I'm home all evening and I'll be using my TV, VCR and stereo, not to mention computer, whether or not it's dark outside. There is no corelation between using these items and DST whatsoever. I don't light the interior of my house with these items. I'm using these items whether it's night or day so how does DST impact my electricity useage? As an aside I do find it humorous that this article lists VCR instead of DVR and doesn't even list computer useage as an issue. That should give an indication of the aniquated thinking right there.

The whole thing seems bassackwards to me. DST goes from March to October, the time of the year when we already have the most light during the evening hours. Coupled with that fact is that many many folks are out and about on summer evenings and not even home using their VCR's :-/ so there's less home elecricity useage during the summer months for the simple reason folks aren't home!

It would make more sense to my twisted mind to enact DST during the winter months, from October until April, when we're more likely to be staying home in our warm cocoons. When it gets dark by 6pm....at least then an hours light would mean turing on the lights at 7 instead of 6. There would be no difference in the morning hours as either way it's going to be dark until 8am. So DST in the winter months might save a bit of juice, but probably not enough to make all this screwing around with resetting clocks worth the semi-annual effort.

There's also the argument about making school kids stand in the dark at their bus stops this time of year thanks to DST, but maybe that's not a valid point these days as I'm not real sure what the school schedules are these days.

16damons

Hence the premise of my joke. This fall... "when clocks leap forward". Re-read and maybe be MoreThanAmused. LOL

LessThanAmused

Ahhh yeah, Ok....that one went right over my head. Sorry, I hate it when I outsmart myself. :-)

biped

I really don't have an issue with DST, except that the GW Bush (duh)administration pushed it ahead 3 weeks. I wish they'd change the start of DST back to April like it used to be.

solstyce9

Hate Daylight Savings time like me? Sign the White House Petition to eliminate it once and for all: http://wh.gov/fh4k

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