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Daylight Savings Time Increases Energy Use In Indiana

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the all-change-has-friction dept.

Power 388

enbody writes "The Freakonomics Blog at NYTimes.com reports on a study of Indiana energy use for daylight savings time showing an increase in energy use of 1%. 'The dataset consists of more than 7 million observations on monthly billing data for the vast majority of households in southern Indiana for three years. Our main finding is that — contrary to the policy's intent — D.S.T. increases residential electricity demand.'" Maybe that's just from millions of coffee makers being pressed into extra duty.

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Same over here (5, Interesting)

Hasney (980180) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696023)

I've gotta say, I'm in England and as soon as the clocks change, my power consumption goes way up. I don't even use heaters where I live so I've never worked out where it's coming from....

No joke, coffee makers do have an effect (4, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696035)

I can say, living in Eastern Illinois (Chicago), that when Daylight savings rolls around, we do engage our coffee maker to make the transition a little easier. If enough households do this, I wouldn't be surprised if the "coffeemaker" effect is significant enough to cause serious change in energy usage. For example, our coffee maker draws 1200 watts(!) while brewing.

Re:No joke, coffee makers do have an effect (4, Insightful)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696107)

1200 watts is not surprising to me. A coffee maker has to boil water after all.

Re:No joke, coffee makers do have an effect (4, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696125)

However, the coffee maker is not on for a very long time. In order for the coffee maker to use $3.29 of electricity at 10Â/kwh (fairly high) it would have to use 32.9kwh, or be on for a cumulative 27 hours. How long does it take to brew coffee?

Re:No joke, coffee makers do have an effect (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696327)

Over a month (30 days of use)? Assuming the hot plate stays on all day, that's possible. Out coffee pot is used/percolates twice a day and the heater stays on the entire day.

Re:No joke, coffee makers do have an effect (1)

kabloom (755503) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696335)

I don't brew coffee, but this actually sounds reasonable, or close to reasonable. (It certainly makes up a large percentage of the difference)

Re:No joke, coffee makers do have an effect (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696339)

10 minutes a day, 30 days a month, 12 months a year or 60 hours or roughly 45 kwh every year. twice that for my work as we make on average two pots a day.

all that said the only reason I like daylight saving time, is because in september it is still light out when i get home from work. without daylight savings time the sun would set by 5pm in October, instead of the November it does now. Those extra hours are very useful for fall evening projects.

Re:No joke, coffee makers do have an effect (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696395)

Over the course of a full year, yes, your numbers are correct. However, we are looking at a few weeks only, and only in the fall. Further, this would be increased usage over the regular amount. All this sums up to a much reduced amount of electricity than 45kwh.

Re:No joke, coffee makers do have an effect (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696437)

Well, you also have to remember that this time of the year is getting colder, so more people are having hot meals and beverages.

Re:No joke, coffee makers do have an effect (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696449)

Quite a few people who suggest removing DST suggest keeping the whole year on "daylight time", removing "standard" time, in effect. Then you'd not lose all that benefit. Where I am the dynamic is obviously different(Eastern Canada), the heaters started this year about 3 weeks before DST, but they're off now, go figure.

Re:No joke, coffee makers do have an effect (2, Interesting)

WCLPeter (202497) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696573)

without daylight savings time the sun would set by 5pm in October, instead of the November it does now.

Which is why I've always disliked Daylight Savings Time. It bothers me that through the winter months I leave home when it's dark and get home when it's dark. I work inside all day, I almost never see the sun.

Honestly, I've never been able to figure out why they don't just put the clock *ahead* two hours in the fall, and then just leave it there.

Look outside your window tonight, see when the sun goes down, look at the time and then add three hours. Ask yourself if you wish it was 8:00 PM rather than 5:00 PM or, as we get further into the winter months, 7:00 and 4:00 PM. Not only that, summer vacations would be nicer too as we could stay out at the beach longer or enjoy other outdoor activities longer.

It might also have a nice side effect combating the obesity epidemic we're all facing if we gave people more daylight time to play outside.

Re:No joke, coffee makers do have an effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696705)

Lord Byron II likes it really strong.

Re:No joke, coffee makers do have an effect (1)

solweil (1168955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696527)

Most people who drink coffee drink it in the morning no matter when they get up.

not a blip (5, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696039)

I believe that other parts of the world have observed the same result too.

Of course it is very difficult to make an apples to apples comparison since energy demands are changing year to year anyway. Observed changes cannot be only attributed to the DST changes.

Re:not a blip (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696833)

Although it's a 1% change, we're talking about huge amounts of power here, so it is actually a very significant increase.

Most professional energy industry analysts were predicting this change would not save any power, and like we're finding out, would actually increase consumption.

The Republicans may very well have known this, given their intimate relationships with the American energy industry. Although they claimed it would decrease consumption, what we could be seeing is them just profiting off of a decision they knew would increase consumption needlessly.

Best Solution: Put it Back (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696041)

I still have a number of computers that are running older operating systems for which there is no patch. The best thing to do about this ridiculous time change stuff is just to put it back the way it was.

All together now (1, Redundant)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696043)

NO SHIT.

Re:All together now (2, Insightful)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696749)

I, for one, shit every time I want. It helps to get rid of shitty ideas.

Re:All together now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696763)

Seriously.
This is like saying to a human that they are human.

Why did they even care to point this out?

Maybe if they had lovely little maps that showed which areas uses the most.
Maybe if they had lovely little graphs with the average homes electrical devices per map grid.
But no, no, we just get "DST IS A LIE!".

its because they are increasing the day (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696047)

Of COURSE daylight savings stuff changes how much electricity you use.

Afterall, if they give us an extra hour of daytime then your appliances are running for a full 25 hours a day.

you have to run all your appliances for that extra hour every single day all winter.

Re:its because they are increasing the day (4, Funny)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696081)

Sigh...

Must we correct such silly ideas?!?

The extra hour is given to you in the Summer! Not the winter. In the US, the winter is during Standard Time.

It's that extra hour of A/C, not simple appliances.

Re:its because they are increasing the day (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696585)

Spring forward, fall back.

In Summer, the time goes 01:59:58, 01:59:59, 03:00:00. You lose an hour there.

In Winter, the time goes 01:59:58, 01:59:59, 01:00:00. You gain an hour there.

Make sense?

Re:its because they are increasing the day (-1, Troll)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696659)

Are you joking? The day is always 24 hours long. Do you really think that DST makes days 25 hours long?

You get one day a year that is an hour longer and then another day that is an hour shorter. Every other day is 24 hours long.

Did I just get trolled?

-b

Re:its because they are increasing the day (2, Informative)

Acapulco (1289274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696865)

You just get swoooshed. :)

PedanticMan to the rescue! (5, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696051)

Daylight Saving Time. Saving, singular, not Savings, plural.

As you were.

Re:PedanticMan to the rescue! (5, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696137)

Whoops, sorry, that was supposed to be 'Pedantic-Man', with a dash. How embarrassing.

Re:PedanticMan to the rescue! (1)

Lije Baley (88936) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696201)

Whew, I'm sure glad you cleared that up!

Re:PedanticMan to the rescue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696347)

You mean a hyphen, something that shouldn't be there either. Nice try, so-called "Pedantic Man."

Re:PedanticMan to the rescue! (3, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696407)

You mean a hyphen, something that shouldn't be there either. Nice try, so-called "Pedantic Man."

Sadly, I have no hyphen on my keyboard, and no desire to go poking through a character map to find one, so I had to use a dash. Check the ASCII character. :)

Don't feel bad - I *am* a professional!

Re:PedanticMan to the rescue! (2, Informative)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696587)

Most excellent. Pedantry is becoming a lost art. You can almost never find a grammar nazi when you need one. - â" ... ermmm both em-dash and hyphen are available on your keyboard btw. Try this link for information. http://www.visionn.com/learn/13-hyphens-en-dashes-and-em-dashes-don-t-let-friends-dash-incorrectly [visionn.com]

Re:PedanticMan to the rescue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696589)

It's not a dash; it's a hyphen.

Re:PedanticMan to the rescue! (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696757)

Here, here! [wikipedia.org]

Re:PedanticMan to the rescue! (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696283)

Daylight Saving Time. Saving, singular, not Savings, plural.

Is that the same thing as "daylight savings time?"

Re:PedanticMan to the rescue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696323)

If you want to be pedantic, then why not call it "daylight reallocations time"? They aren't saving it. If they are, then who has it all?

Re:PedanticMan to the rescue! (3, Funny)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696601)

When you enter DST, you jump ahead one hour, skipping completely over it. That hour is being saved until you switch back to standard time, where it is then used up.

Re:PedanticMan to the rescue! (1)

z-j-y (1056250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696767)

Is it Grammar Nazi, or Grammar Nazis?

Households isn't enough (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696063)

In order to really determine the effect though, they need to look at all power usage not just households. What about municipalities (street lights, water pumps, etc.), businesses, office space, Government offices, etc.). If you don't calculate it all - and you come out with a 1% difference - you may just have found nothing of any relevance since the intent is to save power overall.

Re:Households isn't enough (2, Insightful)

maeka (518272) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696123)

In order to really determine the effect though, they need to look at all power usage not just households. What about municipalities (street lights, water pumps, etc.), businesses, office space, Government offices, etc.)

I've never lived in a city which turned off their streetlights for part of the night, so I'm not sure what consumption change would be possible there.
Water pumps (I assume you mean the ones which lift water to the water towers) operate as a function of water demand, and I'm not sure how water consumption could be changed by DST.
Also unfortunately, most offices and businesses use lighting in a manner which is independent of ambient light, so I'm not sure why we would expect a difference there.
In fact, I would expect household consumption to be the most elastic and the exact market one would expect to see the most savings in (if there were savings to be found.) It tends to be individuals, not businesses, who turn on and off lights in response to window-provided light.

Re:Households isn't enough (2, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696495)

"I've never lived in a city which turned off their streetlights for part of the night, so I'm not sure what consumption change would be possible there."

Well, where I live all the street lights are automated to turn on when it gets dark out. If it's darker for longer in the winter, they'd run more. They don't care what time it is, if it's dark they're on.

Re:Households isn't enough (1)

maeka (518272) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696805)

Well, where I live all the street lights are automated to turn on when it gets dark out. If it's darker for longer in the winter, they'd run more. They don't care what time it is, if it's dark they're on.

And DST has what impact on the length of darkness?

Well I live there (3, Informative)

neo8750 (566137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696077)

I live in indiana and i can see why. Since it starts getting dark here about 5:30-6 and is fully dark by 7-7:30.

DST is Still Worth It (3, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696083)

When we fall back from DST to standard time, I notice a lot of people seem more visibly depressed, or "blah." I think there is something about the day ending at 4:30 pm that feels unnatural. Not only are the days getting shorter in the Fall, but then people have to deal with the sun setting an hour earlier.

This indicates to me that people actually enjoy DST. If anything, I would support a year-round DST.

Re:DST is Still Worth It (5, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696155)

You might want to read this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder [wikipedia.org]

It's been known about for years, particularly near the Arctic Circle.

Re:DST is Still Worth It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696409)

Toss in some relatively closer to lunar cycle issues and get more then twice the danger. No wonder there are so many holidays during the winter that are intended as mood enhancers.

Re:DST is Still Worth It (4, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696193)

If you're going to (permanently) break the 12pm = sun overhead, 12am = midnight relation, why not just ignore timezones and use UTC instead? The problem is how the time you start and stop work relates to the time that the sun rises and sets... what name you give those times doesn't matter.

Re:DST is Still Worth It (2, Funny)

calyxa (618266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696583)

I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:DST is Still Worth It (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696223)

"A year-round DST"

I see what you did there...

Non-standard meaning of "standard" (5, Insightful)

IcyHando'Death (239387) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696289)

Anybody else out there think it's a little odd to be using the term "Standard Time" for a period that covers only 4 months of the year now?

Re:DST is Still Worth It (4, Insightful)

Air-conditioned cowh (552882) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696621)

How about just getting up earlier all the year round. Move core work time to 8-4PM. That way it is nicely centred around mid-day. And mid-day can then mean exactly what it says on the tin (except for those weird time zones that jut out and extend in odd directions).

Re:DST is Still Worth It (1)

legirons (809082) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696745)

so dark in the evening = watch TV instead of gardening = more energy use?

may be onto something there...

I love DST. I hate standard time (4, Insightful)

greggman (102198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696097)

I don't care if it uses more energy, I like it when it gets dark later. I like getting out of work while it's still light outside.

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696163)

Uhh, I don't know how's DST around your neck of the woods, but where I live it actually gets darker SOONER, not later.

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (1)

RCSInfo (847666) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696351)

Uhh, I don't know how's DST around your neck of the woods, but where I live it actually gets darker SOONER, not later.

So you live in the Southern Hemisphere but set your clock to US Daylight Saving Time?

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696715)

No, US DST is in summer. Winter is standard time.

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (0)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696191)

DST causes it get dark earlier. An hour earlier.

The idea is to have it get light earlier, not dark later. Remember "fall back"?

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (2, Informative)

Pearlswine (1121125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696287)

Yes, you fall back to standard time, this removes the effect of Daylight Savings Time.

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696311)

You're right. DST is summer time.

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (1)

dexmachina (1341273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696345)

Yes, so you turn your clock back an hour. Imagine when you turned back your clocks, you left one on DST. When the DST clock reads 7 o'clock pm, it's now actually 6 o'clock. So it gets dark earlier in the evening. When we switch to DST, it stays light later into the evening, what was once 6 o'clock pm and still light is now 7 o'clock. DST makes it light later.

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (3, Insightful)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696675)

DST makes it get dark later, not earlier.

Lets use Eastern Time an an example. Say it is 5:00pm in Eastern Standard Time. That's GMT-5. Eastern Daylight Time is GMT-4, or 6:00pm.

That being said, I think we need to simply do away with DST (though that does not mean having Standard time year-round, but having a consistent time and none of this springing forwards or falling backs would be ideal).

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696313)

Then get in to work an hour earlier. I don't know why anybody thinks that lying to ourselves about the time for six months every year accomplishes anything.

What do you mean "you like" ? (5, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696489)

What do you mean by you like? Didn't you hear? We're all supposed to conserve energy for The Earth. It's not about what anyone likes, it's about sacrificing our comfort, our prosperity, and our way of life to benefit The Earth. The Earth demands sacrifice!

Now, start listening to your Leaders. They know what choices you should make. They say you should conserve energy. For The Earth. Any choice that uses more energy is Bad. Any choice that uses less is Good. There are no exceptions for productivity and no consideration for humanity. Just use less. Obey.

(The Leaders are exempt and may use all the energy they wish.)

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696511)

My favorite thing about working 12 hour shifts is going in before the sun is up and getting out after it's gone down.

That's pretty fucking depressing.

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (1)

z-j-y (1056250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696593)

Gov should mandate people to work during night time, then you'll get all the day lights to yourself.

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696713)

Gov should mandate people to work during night time, then you'll get all the day lights to yourself.

When I was in my early 20s and was working my first computer op. job, I worked the third shift, four days on, four days off.

I loved it. Went in at 6pm, got out at 6am, ran to the beach by 7am (well, the edge of a lake in the midwest) and hung out there for a couple of hours enjoying the low sun, at least in the summertime.

Now that I have responsibilities to other people, that's not so feasible, but when I was single I sure did enjoy it.

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696651)

I finish work at 11PM you insensitive clod

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696739)

And I like it when the sun actually rises before I have to get up. Got a legitimate argument for why your preference should override mine?

Re:I love DST. I hate standard time (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696817)

Interesting, I hate it because now I'm nearly getting out of class in the dark. On the 1st of this month the sun set about 7ish here, on the second it was 6ish. "Fall back" ya know... I can't see how staying at work an hour later would make anyone have more sunlight when they get off... It might work in the spring, but during summer it gets dark quite late anyway. IMHO it'd be better to make DST the new standard time and quit messing with the clocks.

How'd they make the estimate? (4, Insightful)

mechsoph (716782) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696145)

The article doesn't describe how the produced the estimate of 1%. If they just looked at the year-over-year change, the number could be meaningless as that might be within the normal variation/trend of energy consumption.

The method economists use in this situation is to look at the group that your changing (Indiana) and compare the change in energy consumption to a nearby control group (Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky). You can then look at the RELATIVE changes to get a valid answer.

***

Ok, I just followed the link to the actual paper, and it looks like they used several Indiana counties that were on DST prior to the policy change as their control. So, yeah, their results look pretty valid. In conclusion: Down with DST!

I've always wonderd about the savings myself (2, Informative)

Telecommando (513768) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696147)

Where I live, switching to DST means I'm getting up earlier, before sunrise and running lights I otherwise wouldn't need. Although it makes sundown later, it doesn't seem to save me much energy. I may run fewer lights, but I still have to run A/C, which is the major hit on my electric bill in the summer.

Plus, I find the sudden shift back in the fall to be rather depressing. One Friday I'm coming home after work in the daylight and the following Monday I'm driving home in the dark. The gradual shift of the seasons would be less jarring for me at least.

Re:I've always wonderd about the savings myself (1)

boot_img (610085) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696315)

I may run fewer lights, but I still have to run A/C, which is the major hit on my electric bill in the summer.

I think the A/C is the key to this puzzle. More A/C in the summer (clock says 5 PM when you get back from work, but temperature-wise its still 4 PM) morethan cancels out the electricity savings due to lighting.

Re:I've always wonderd about the savings myself (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696341)

But haven't most households switched to CFLs and other energy-efficient lighting? (My house uses nothing but those) Back when everyone was running multiple 100W+ bulbs all over the house, especially at night, I'm sure the savings could have been considerable. But at night, we now turn on the entertainment center, which seems to be the new light bulb (x10) as far as energy use is concerned. I'm starting to think that society has changed enough that simply playing with the clock won't solve much, as overall energy use has increased. You're right about using the A/C during the day being a huge expense, though.

Re:I've always wonderd about the savings myself (2, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696533)

"But haven't most households switched to CFLs and other energy-efficient lighting?"

No. Very few houses actually contain people who care. I don't mean to sound like a troll, but that's the facts.

I thought it's for creating jobs? (3, Funny)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696157)

I thought the change of DST rule was to create IT jobs in adopting the old system, and troubleshooting the mess introduced by the old rules, etc....No?

Anyway, every time operation should be done in UTC in the core especially when it has to deal with cross timezone operations and globalization.

On the other hand, It's stupid to see Windows can only handle 2 active rules before Vista at any given time, on the other hand *nix and Vista can have define unlimited rules given a period of the time. I couldn't imagine how one would devise a local time using the DST rule of time in Windows XP, probably revert to reinvent-the-wheel?...luckily I don't have to deal with anything like that yet.

Nothing new here (2, Informative)

IcyHando'Death (239387) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696167)

DST has been studied many times over the years and the informed consensus is that it just doesn't work. Here's a good link about it: http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/03/11/think-daylight-saving-time-saves-energy-think-again-or-not/ [autobloggreen.com]

The long and the short of the matter is this. It's good for business - it gets people out of the house and into the stores after work. So business lobbies government for the required legislation and pushes the energy saving myth to snow the public into going along with it (despite it being an inconvenience in the minds of many).

A little science, please (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696189)

Why didn't they test this in a few states before doing it nation-wide? They fuck with our clocks, operating systems, and minds with no rational plan.

Re:A little science, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696461)

Why didn't they test this in a few states before doing it nation-wide?

Because that would be even worse. Some states have DST, some do not, but if they do, they must change on the same day. If some states changed on different days, then on some days you are no longer have the same time. New York & Connecticut are in the same time zone, but if they switched DST on differnt days, it would be a nightmare.

They fuck with our clocks, operating systems, and minds with no rational plan.

Yes, you can blame the US congress for that. While some states have DST and some don't, the day on which you change has been fixed for a very, very long time.

Residential (5, Interesting)

Gorgonzolanoid (1394311) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696203)

I think the key phrase is "D.S.T. increases residential electricity demand."

The company or what/whoever you work for will see a positive effect, at the expense of the consumer. That is exactly what I've always believed DST was meant to do (by those who invented it), in the first place.

Be wary of fake science (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696217)

This a situation where a peer reviewed methodology would be of much more interest than a finding. Even if the finding is accurate, I cannot see how it is valid. First, a one percent increase may or may not be significant.

Second, what is the one percent based on? Previous months use? Historical and adjusted values for same month use?

Third, do the increases adjust for changes in fall activities. For instance, were the kids all going to school at the same time? Does the start of school effect the figures?Do the number of holidays effect the figures?

All I really know at this point is that some people stuck some number in spreadsheet and saw a spike. Next thing you will telling me is that the only reason the days start getting longer is that, fortunately, some traditionalist still hold a ceremony on the 21st to make it do so, rather than the much too late 25th.

I really don't know if DST helps, or if this paper is valid. However, it appears that the only variable this paper controls for is weather, and rather For instance, their data shows an increase over the month of September, exactly when parents are getting up earlier to get the kids ready for school, while July through september, months when parents do not get get kids ready for school, is not increased, even though children may be home during the day using electricity. I do see how any question is answered. Some nice data analysis, so nice inferences, but who knows if anything else.

Re:Be wary of fake science (2, Informative)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696821)

Second, what is the one percent based on? Previous months use? Historical and adjusted values for same month use?

Third, do the increases adjust for changes in fall activities. For instance, were the kids all going to school at the same time? Does the start of school effect the figures?Do the number of holidays effect the figures?

To answer questions about methodolgies, it seems fairly straightforward. Indiana had counties that observed and did not observe DST. In 2006, it mandated that all counties use DST. Hence, there you can compare the counties before and after DST (using year-to-year data), while comparing neighboring counties changes over the same time period to correct for seasonal variances, etc. Or you can compare neighbors side by side in the past, and then compare them currently, to determine what differences are due to geography vs. DST.

For more information, read the paper.

Lighting is only 1% of electricity (2, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696229)

Every year, the energy utilities report that they observed no difference in energy use when daylight savings time is changed. It really is time to stop this annoyance.

Not only energy inefficient. (5, Insightful)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696275)

The whole idea of having to develop an entire infrastructure and spend so much effort (e.g. writing software, following changes in policies, synchronizing between different DST zones, even manually correcting clocks) just to supposedly save a little energy thanks to "using more sunlight" is beyond idiotic. I won't even touch the fact that to me it is kind of obvious that the DST could never work as intended. But even if we were certain it would work, the CHANGE twice a year add such an overhead that would wipe out any potential gain.

My view as a person who lives in Indiana. (3, Informative)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696301)

I live in Indiana in a county that had no daylight savings. I would get up and the sun would be just rising. I would shower and drive to work in the morning sun. I would work all day and come home and the sun would still be up. I would do my house work and eat dinner and the sun would be setting. During the winter I would get home just a hour or so before dusk and nothing else would much change.

Now I get up and it is dark. I turn on lights, take a shower and because it is dark out I just feel more tired. This means I actually take longer to take my shower and get ready to go to work. On top of this I find myself drinking coffee to stay awake. I get home and it is still daylight, but it still feels like it gets dark just as quickly.

Worse then that is the period leading up to the time change. It was dark when I woke up and dark when I got home. This was the previous month before we switched times again. Daylight savings is a stupid premise imho.

DST Is Insane (5, Insightful)

anorlunda (311253) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696373)

How long must we continue this DST insanity? It doesn't accomplish anything beneficial. Nothing, nada, zip. If you like getting out of work in the light, then lobby to switch your state to a different time zone year round, but please please not DST.

On the other hand DST costs us plenty in confusion and lost work hours, and in maintaining software that deals with 24x7 matters. All such software must deal with one 23 hour day an one 25 hour day each year. Especially when said software integrates with external software and people it is next to impossible to assure error free transition to or from DST. Someone in the chain always drops the ball. One of these days, we're going to have an accidental missile launch or a nuclear meltdown or some really bad accident directly linked to DST.

One of the real lessons we should have learned from Y2K was that dealing with our insanely complex conventions for time and date are vastly expensive and the cause of chronic errors. New errors are still being created every day because the author deals incorrectly with time. DST just heaps on even more crap and returns no benefit.

Re:DST Is Insane (2, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696505)

How long must we continue this DST insanity?

I totally agree. Stop dicking with the time and just deal with it. There was some discussion about having more daylight when kids are waiting for the school bus but that argument is not really valid anymore. School bus loading is a lot safer now, in any lighting conditions. Most school parking lots are well lighted. There are enough laws and enforcement going on now that the message is sinking in.

Farmers don't need the extra daylight, either. When it's harvest time they're running until midnight or later. With GPS and the lighting systems on tractors they can work anytime.

It's a brave new world and that world doesn't need anyone moving the clock back and forth.

Re:DST Is Insane (2, Informative)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696691)

>>One of these days, we're going to have an accidental missile launch

I don't work with nukes, but the stuff I do work with uses zulu (UTC) time. This has its own problems, but DST is not one of them.

-b

Cold season? (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696389)

The thing is, the DST adjustment is performed when the average montly temperature drops rather fast. That drop reaches the double digits at my home town. So if someone notices an increase in energy consumption in the range of 1%, why do people jump to the conclusion that the increase was due to the DST and don't even stop to think that when the weather cools down people do enjoy staying warm?

Correlation doesn't imply causality, not even when you are looking into your pet peeve.

a good idea, a bad plan. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696401)

People seem to forget the effects industrialization have had on us as a society. Not even a hundred years ago, time was something only the wealthy cared about. The rest of us got up with the sun, and went inside when it went down. Until the industrial revolution, this worked fine -- there was less work to do in the winter anyway. This is how nature in general has worked for thousands of years -- by the motions of the sun.

Daylight Saving Time might have been implimented to save some money, but the truth is that it's more valuable psychologically because it keeps us all closer to the natural rhythm of the Earth. But even now drugs are being rolled out so that humans can go without sleep for days or weeks at a time, work at night and sleep during the day, and many other ways of keeping the machinery rolling. At this rate, in another 30 years, I doubt daylight savings time will mean anything at all... Because we'll work around the clock, slaves to the machinery.

And we'll call it progress.

Don't ReDefine Time (2, Interesting)

Armatich_Defiant (571793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696425)

Down with DST!

1) Any good developer knows you don't redefine time. If a business wants to start work early, just say start at 7AM.

2) What about all the wasted time spent dealing with the change?

For us farmers (3, Funny)

willworkforbeer (924558) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696485)

We need the extra hour of daylight for growing our Fall crops, so leave DST alone.

A familiar refrain ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696503)

contrary to the policy's intent

That's something that we've been hearing a lot lately.

This energy saving plan brought to you by (4, Funny)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696515)

The Bush administration, with
its fine misunderestimated mathematical minds,
who also calculated that if Osama Bin Laden
was hiding on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border,
we should go defeat him in Baghdad.

Oh and the same minds who calculated that
even though co2 lets in visible-light and ultraviolet
energy from the Sun and reflects and traps in infra-red
energy that radiates back off the Earth, it won't cause
global warming, because that would reduce oil
sale revenues.

It's honestly quite a shocker that this cunningly
devised plan didn't work.

Re:Line length saving plan / brought to you by (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696753)

Burma-Shave

Energy consumption is regional (1)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696521)

as is behavior. I'd like to see this study done in major cities.

well within the margin of error (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696569)

Persoanlly I don't think it's possible to measure anything to do with people (except for their physical attributes) to better than 10% - or if we're talking something completely dependent on feelings or motivations (such as advertising or psychology) by +/- 100%.

So a 1% change in anything is far too close to random to be worth considering.

Oh no, not 1% (3, Insightful)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696623)

Well, it is nice that in the afternoon I can take my kids to the park, work in the garden, or commute with some day light... All in all, I can actually live my life a lot more because there is daylight when the day is over, and I can enjoy 7 days a week, not 2... But, if we need to use 1% more energy, well let's panic. The energy savings of DST has obviously been silly since light became a small portion of energy usage, but if it's only 1% more, I'd say that's pretty cheap.

I think that I can 50% - more recreational time each week during DST, so if I can do that for 1% more energy, terrific. OTOH, I spent less time watching TV on on the computer because there is more useful daylight, another bonus. Daylight before I get up in the morning doesn't do me any good, but having daylight for my commute in and for my evenings with my family are precious.

I'm always saddened when DST comes to an end. Why the whiners on Slashdot complain about DST, I'll never understand. The transition week is annoying, and my two year old has been struggling with his rhythm being off, but as a trade off for all those summer afternoons in the park with him, it's a bargain.

Possibility (1)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696631)

Could it be possible that without DST, the power usage would actually be higher? I notice that they don't have pre-DST data for the same seasons. I know that my power usage goes up after DST because it's cold and dark out in general. DST doesn't really change anything about my own power usage. And most things that relate to the dark (street lights, spotlights, garage lights, etc) are either on timers or use light sensors. Those are independent of DST as well, but will show an increase in power consumption due to the decreased daylight.

-b

I hate standard time (2, Interesting)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696643)

I don't care what anyone says, what any statistics say, I wish we'd do away with standard time all together.

It gets dark WAY too damn early, and it gets light in the morning WAY too damn early.

I'd rather it be on "Daylight Savings Time" year round. Despense with the setting of the clocks twice a year, and all the headaches that result from it. Just let us go to Daylight Savings Time next year, and then STAY THERE. Forever.

I can't imagine any valid reasonable reason not to.

Even if true, one must compare with non-DST WINTER (1)

crazy blade (519548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696733)

This study seems to verify the obvious: you will use more power no mater what, if you have less daylight per day.

But does this mean that DST is useless? I don't know, but I'd say that one can not judge that based on a simple comparison of power consumption during DST and non-DST periods.

To see if DST does save power (and how much), you must compare it with what we would have consumed if DST were not in effect.

For example, in Greece (where I live), during mid-summer, it gets dark after 20:00. During the winter, even with DST, it gets dark as soon as 18:00. That's a whole 2 hours of more dark per day! Even with DST, I think it's normal we'd consume more power.

Now, had we not used DST, it'd get dark as soon as 17:00. That would be 3 hours less daylight per day. I bet we'd use even more power had DST not been in effect.

Also, how does the study compensate for the increased power demand for heating (spaces, water, etc)?

In short, make sure they're not comparing apples to oranges...

hope this will be (2, Interesting)

smdm (1125481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696743)

an evidence that my country, Japan, shouldn't introduce DST. Japan is again considering to introduce DST even though we already concluded it won't work in Japan for cultural/geometrical reasons decades ago. Pro claims that it's good for environment, but I haven't seen a single scientific evidence to support it. Con, like me, complains that DST will definitely confuse people and IT systems!

'Cause winter is not a factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696813)

And it has nothing to do with the fact that it's becoming winter?

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