Monday, September 5, 2011

Daylight Savings Time

"Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" so said Benjamin Franklin. I am on the fence about healthy, could not a person work themselves to an early grave? Oh well. Now the fact that it is just after 8:30pm and it looks like it is midnight outside and it is a bit depressing and that is what spurred me onto the subject of Daylight Savings Time.

  Now supposedly, Daylight Savings Time (DST) also known in most European countries as summer time (George Carlin just flashed through my mind) is the time of year when we can try and get more things done and also save people money on their electric bill, because that means a person doe not have to turn the lights on until later in the evening.Maybe in June and July there is some daylight at 8 o'clock  but I recently noticed, in the past couple of weeks, in the month of August, that this seems to be no longer true.

  Accordingly over time, there have been disputes by experts about whether or not there are any benefits to Daylight Savings Time.Such as :

 1.  In 1975, a study by the U.S. Department of Transportation concluded that DST could reduce the country's use of electricity by 1% (BIG WHOOP) during March & April, but the National Bureau of Standards reviewed the study in 1976 a concluded that there were significant savings. (DUH )

2.  Parts of Australia began using DST in 2000 in late winter, overall consumption of electricity did not     decrease, in fact morning peak load and prices increased.

 3.  During the summer of 2006-2007, in Western Australia , DST increased electric use during the hotter        days and and decreased during the cooler days with consumption rising 0.6% overall.

 4.  Even though a 2007 study estimated that introducing daylights Savings Time to Japan would cause a reduction in household lighting energy use, a simulation that same year concluded that DST would increase overall energy usage in Osaka by 0.13% , with 0.02% decrease due to less lighting more than outweighed by a  0.15% increase because of extra cooling: neither one examined non-residential energy use. These studies are mainly done in residences.

 5.  A 2007 study, in California, found that the earlier start to DST that year had little to no effect on electrical consumption.

6.  In Great Britain, another 2007 study estimated that winter daylight savings would prevent a 2% increase in average daily electricity consumption. This study was revised in 2009.

 7.  A 2008 study examined billing data in Indiana before and after it adopted Daylight Savings Time in 2006, and concluded that DST increased residential electrical usage by 1% to 4%, due to afternoon cooling and extra heating in the morning; the main increase was in the autumn. All told the annual cost of DST to Indianan households was estimated to be $9 million, with an additional $1.7to $5.5 million for social cost due to pollution.

8.  The U.S. Department of Energy concluded in a report, in 2008, that the 2007 U.S. extension of DST saved only 0.5% electrical usageduring the extended period. This report only broke down the extension, not the full 8 months of daylight savings and did not examine the use of heating fuels.

Several studies have suggested that DST increase motor fuel consumption. The DOE report of 2008 found no significant in motor gasoline consumption due to the 2007 extension of daylight Savings Time.

  There are some more issues with this topic like the economy. For retailers the extra daylight can mean more shoppers spending money, but for farmers DST can affect them and others whose hours are set by the sun, adversely. Such as grain harvesting is best done after the dew evaporates, so when the harvesters come and leave earlier in the summer their labor is less valuable.

  As for the affects on health due to DST is mixed. If one has fixed work schedule it provides more sunlight for afternoon outdoor activity. It alters sunlight exposure; depending on one's location and daily schedule, this could be beneficial because of the triggering of vitamin D synthesis and of course the flipside is that too much exposure can cause skin cancer.

  Now if you are a shift worker DST can cause sleep disruption and cause inefficiency.  Effects on a person's biological clock can be severe and last for weeks. BUT IF THIS IS ALL YOU KNOW THIS IS CONSIDERED TO BE NORMAL.

 Now there are some more intricate subjects on this topic and I will leave y'all a couple of links at the end. But from what I have read Daylight Savings Time is a waste of time because we do not seem to be saving anything, especially money. But to each his own.


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