It’s been a debate for quite some time—does daylight saving time help or hinder your energy costs? This annual time change is really all about energy conservation. Each year, the U.S. and dozens of other countries participate in springing forward, which affects roughly 1.6 billion people.
What Is Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight saving time (DST) is when we adjust our clocks to get longer evening daylight. We set our clocks an hour ahead of the standard time in order to get longer summer days. This debate dates back to before Benjamin Franklin.
The thought behind the time change is that we will be able to use more natural light opposed to having our light bulbs illuminating for more hours throughout the day. However, the question remains: Does springing forward and falling back really reduce energy costs?
History of Daylight Saving Time
Though it was previously believed that this time change helped farmers with their daily chores, it turns out this is not in fact the case. This annual shift was first implemented on March 31, 1918, and contrary to popular belief, farmers were up in arms about the change. Farmers state that the sun dictates their work schedule, not the punching in on a timeclock.
In 1919, there was an appeal to end daylight saving time. Despite the ruling, some cities still participated in springing forward and falling back––both New York City and Chicago continued to change their clocks. National daylight saving time didn’t return until World War II. After 1966, the U.S. established the Uniform Time Act and now we have a more general consensus on daylight saving time and participation in this spring forward.
So, Does it Really Lower Our Bills?
Recent studies indicate that daylight saving time doesn’t actually help us with our energy costs, as initially intended. A study in Indiana found that because of daylight saving time, electricity consumption rose by one percent, while monthly bills increased as high as four percent in summer and fall. The idea was to use more natural light, which would lower our energy costs. However, with the widespread increase in air conditioning, we use more heating and cooling due to daylight saving time.
Worried About AC Costs This Daylight Saving Time? Call Colman Heating & Air
While not many people have a completely neutral opinion on daylight saving time, we are here to ease your worries. If you are concerned about your energy costs, we recommend giving your HVAC system a tune up. Springing forward also means springing into warmer weather. For any of your AC, pool heater or ice machine needs, give us a call.