Daylight Savings Time
Don’t forget to turn your clocks back Saturday night before you go to bed! Daylight Savings Time is coming to an end and that means our days are getting shorter.
Why did daylights savings time start? Is it still practical today? Daylight Savings Throughout time, civilization has adjusted the work schedule to fit the hours of sunlight. This was important when there were more dangers at night, and it was important to keep your family and livestock safe from whatever lurked in the darkness.
As civilization became more industrialized and utilized clocks throughout the day as opposed to basing time off sunlight some scientists noticed a need for change. In 1895 an entomologist from New Zealand, George Hudson, approached the Wellington Philosophical Society and proposed a two-hour shift in the workday to allow for more hours of sunlight. Many citizens of New Zealand were interested in Hudson’s idea, but no action was taken at that time. In 1898, Hudson followed up with another paper.
Many people credit William Willett with the notion of Daylight Savings Time. He apparently, came up with the idea in 1905 when he was on a morning ride. He noticed that many Londoners were sleeping through a great deal of the summer months. He proposed moving the clocks forward in the summer months. His bill was introduced to the British House of Commons on February 12, 1908. This bill did not pass, though Willett fought until he died in 1915.
The Germans were actually the first to implement Daylight Savings Time on April 30, 1916 as a way to conserve coal during wartime. Most of the allied forces followed. The United States finally adopted it in 1918.
Many countries abandoned the use of Daylight Savings Time during times of peace. North America and Europe once again began practicing during the 1970s energy crisis.
Interestingly, it has been found that Daylight Savings Time has very little effect on the United States’ energy consumption.
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) concluded in 1975 that DST might reduce the country’s electricity usage by 1% during March and April, but the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) reviewed the DOT study in 1976 and found no significant savings.
Although a 2007 study estimated that introducing DST to Japan would reduce household lighting energy consumption, a 2007 simulation estimated that DST would increase overall energy use in Osaka residences by 0.13%, with a 0.02% decrease due to less lighting more than outweighed by a 0.15% increase due to extra cooling; neither study examined non-residential energy use. This is probably because DST’s effect on lighting energy use is mainly noticeable in residences.
A 2007 study found that the earlier start to DST that year had little or no effect on electricity consumption in California
A 2008 study examined billing data in Indiana before and after it adopted DST in 2006, and concluded that DST increased overall residential electricity consumption by 1% to 4%, due mostly to extra afternoon cooling and extra morning heating; the main increases came in the fall. A study estimated the overall annual cost of DST to Indiana households $9 million, with an additional $1.75.5 million for social costs due to increased pollution.