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Daylight Saving Time Is Waste Of Time

by @ 12:30 pm on March 13, 2010. Filed under Economics, In The News

It’s that time of year again, time to set your clocks one hour ahead.

Despite the alleged benefits, a new Rasmussen poll shows that most Americans don’t think it’s a good idea:

Daylight Saving Time begins early tomorrow morning, but, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, 47% of Americans don’t think the time change is worth the hassle. Forty percent (40%) disagree, and 13% more aren’t sure.

Moreover, it turns out that the entire idea of Daylight Saving Time being an energy-saver is a hoax:

The history of Daylight Saving Time (DST) has been long and controversial. Throughout its implementation during World Wars I and II, the oil embargo of the 1970s, consistent practice today, and recent extensions, the primary rationale for DST has always been to promote energy conservation. Nevertheless, there is surprisingly little evidence that DST actually saves energy. This paper takes advantage of a natural experiment in the state of Indiana to provide the first empirical estimates of DST effects on electricity consumption in the United States since the mid-1970s. Focusing on residential electricity demand, we conduct the first-ever study that uses micro-data on households to estimate an overall DST effect. The dataset consists of more than 7 million observations on monthly billing data for the vast majority of households in southern Indiana for three years. Our main finding is that—contrary to the policy’s intent—DST increases residential electricity demand. Estimates of the overall increase are approximately 1 percent, but we find that the effect is not constant throughout the DST period. DST causes the greatest increase in electricity consumption in the fall, when estimates range between 2 and 4 percent. These findings are consistent with simulation results that point to a tradeoff between reducing demand for lighting and increasing demand for heating and cooling. We estimate a cost of increased electricity bills to Indiana households of $9 million per year. We also estimate social costs of increased pollution emissions that range from $1.7 to $5.5 million per year. Finally, we argue that the effect is likely to be even stronger in other regions of the United States.

Then let’s get rid of it, right ?

One Response to “Daylight Saving Time Is Waste Of Time”

  1. tfr says:

    A pet peeve of mine.
    Even the old “farmers” argument is stupid: farmers get up and go to bed with their animals, or with the sun, neither of which follow any clock time.
    Pick one or the other and leave it that way.

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