gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Daylight Saving Time

March 08, 2008 @ 11:12 By: gordon Category: Current affairs

A lot of people I talked to earlier this week didn’t realize that we set the clocks forward this weekend.  We’re setting our clocks forward in March, rather than April, because Canada opted to follow the dates imposed by the US Energy Policy Act of 2005 as a matter of convenience.  The goal of the change in the US is to effect a 1% reduction in energy consumption, but everything I’ve read on the history of daylight saving time suggests there haven’t been any appreciable energy savings because of daylight saving time.  Ever.

In fact, a report by the Center for the Study of Energy Markets looked at an attempt in Australia to reduce energy consumption in other parts of their country to help offset the consumption by the Olympic Games in 2000.  Their research found that the demand for energy in Australia was not reduced by the extended daylight saving time.  It also suggests that the 1% reduction in electricity consumption the 1 month extension the US adopted will fail to be realized.

If you’re a *NIX system administrator and you haven’t patched your system to respect the new dates that came into effect last year, you might want to check out my blog entry on what you need to do to update your system.

2 Responses to “Daylight Saving Time”

  1. Squid says:

    Historically, Daylight Saving Time hasn’t saved a nickel, and as you have noted, that fact is pretty well documented.

    Personally, I wish we’d just stay on daylight saving time. Sure the historical connection to “noon” being “sun at maximum elevation” would be gone, but who cares? DST always seems more convenient.

  2. gordon says:

    David Prerau’s book Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time (hardcover: 1560256559; softcover: 1560257962) describes the history of daylight saving time from the beginning when Benjamin Franklin mused about how many candles could be saved if the clocks were adjusted so that people were more in-sync with the sun up to just a few years ago. Worth a read if you have a chance.

    Personally, I haven’t noticed a difference in my energy consumption patterns. If it’s dark and I’m awake then I have the lights on. If it’s dark later in the morning then I have the lights turned on earlier in the day and then delay turning them on in the evening. If it’s light earlier in the morning and dark earlier in the evening then the lights are on earlier in the evening. Basically, I just shift when I’m using the electricity rather than realize an overall reduction in consumption.


  1. gordon.dewis.ca | Brace yourself for a little sleep deprivation (March 12, 2010 @ 17:34)
  2. gordon.dewis.ca | Falling forward through time (March 12, 2011 @ 16:47)

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