Daylight Saving – Energy saving or energy wasting?
Here is an excellent discussion on slashdot about the effect of daylight saving time on overall energy consumption. Included is a link to Wall Street Journal article describing a study at UC Santa Barbara.
A recent legislation passed in Indiana, USA changed daylight saving time policy of the state and gave the reserchers unique opportunity to observe the effects on electricity bills before and after the change. The conclusion? “The study unambiguously concludes that Daylight Saving Time not only doesn’t save any energy, it actually wastes energy and costs more.”
Indeed at some point in time, especially around and after the world war – II, the practice of daylight saving time resulted in energy savings. People were able to use more of sunlight instead of the lights inside, and were able to save a money on electricity bills.
Then came air conditioning.
When an air conditioner or a heater runs for an extra hour because of time change, it far more than offsets the amount of energy saved by switching off the lights. As shown in one of my previous posts, air conditioner is the biggest energy hog. The proportion of energy consumed by air conditioner is far higher and thus makes the daylight saving theory questionable.