Congress's logic was simple. If there's an extra hour of sunlight in the evening, people will turn on fewer lights. The Transportation Department once did a study saying daylight savings reduced America's use of oil by 100,000 barrels a day.It is amazing that there wasn't more analysis going into a change like this. My Win2000 computer and my satellite receiver had trouble with yesterday's shift.
But Ryan Kellogg and Hendrik Wolff, who are working on their doctorates in economics, say the reduced need for light in the evening will likely be negated by the increased need in the early morning.
The folks in Washington apparently hadn't considered this. The daylight savings shift was a three-paragraph item in a 550-page energy bill in 2005. And that study from the Transportation Department? It's more than 30 years old.
Kellogg and Wolff came to their conclusion by studying Australia, where several states extended daylight-saving time (DST for short) by two months in 2000 to accommodate the Olympic Games in Sydney that year.
They compared electric demand in the state of Victoria, which extended DST, with its next-door neighbor, South Australia, which did not.
"Our results show that the extension failed to conserve electricity," they wrote.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Daylight saving time does not save energy