Energy Conservation Gains due to Daylight Saving Time
I have no empirical evidence, but since the clock was shifted, I can report that I have found it harder to get out of bed. As a consequence, I have been missing the cut-off time to access the bus and been relying on a personal automobile to get to work. My personal energy consumption has seen a substantial increase as a result of DST.
I had weird thoughts about this problem this morning. There have been reports lately that more and more Americans are working earlier and earlier hours. Record numbers of people are now up at 6AM, 5AM . . . imagine all that energy they are burning in the morning, turning up artificial lighting and climate controls because they are up before the sun! And then going to bed when it is still light out!
Perhaps, perhaps, we would save daylight if we moved everyone’s clocks backward! We could measure average working hours each year and then adjust the DST offset so that no matter how much earlier or later people were working . . .
Of course, this stupid idea would never get enacted. Er, well, DST got enacted! How was that? Business concerns–golfers, sporting goods, and others figured than an extra hour of daylight in the afternoon would bring them greater profits. So, if we were to reverse DST . . . perhaps McDonald’s and Burger King, IHOP, Starbuck’s coffee . . . the longer the morning . . .