Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Daylight Savings Time

I live in West Michigan, which is the western edge of the Eastern Time Zone. Summers are great, with it being light until about 10:00. But, with the earlier move to daylight savings, its been dark in the morning. My wife has often asked whether daylight savings actually saves energy. A recent study by an economist says no--daylight savings causes an increase in electricity usage. For many years, part of Indiana went to daylight saving time and part did not, so there was a natural experiment when the rest of Indiana went to daylight saving time. The result--greater electricity usage in the counties after they went to daylight saving. The counties that had been using daylight saving for some time were the control group. I understand it was Ben Franklin's idea originally, so even Ben could be wrong.