14 March 2010
The U.S. has recently lengthened by one month the annual setting of the clocks ahead by one hour. If you are in the USA, the time to do this is 2 AM this Sunday morning 14 March.
The UK, and most of western Europe, will not jump forward until 28 March.
Supposedly, the first person to have the idea was none other than Ben Franklin who argued it would save lamp oil and candles in summer. The reason being that it would get dark much later than in winter and people would go to bed soon after darkness fell. This makes sense and it likely did save energy when first enacted during the first world war.
It almost certainly does not now. There is very good evidence that it actually costs us more money.
Two studies on the past 3 years have come up with the same conclusions. The extra air conditioning use in the evening when people are home from work, costs far more energy than the lower use of lighting. As more and more compact fluorescent lights are used, the difference will be even greater I suspect.
Joe Romm over at Climate Progress has a good post on this. (He actually beat me to it!)
Better yet, read the actual paper. Mouse on the image below to read it.
Kotchen and Grant found, that in Indiana, the change to the clocks in summer cost Indiana folks around 9 million dollars a year extra in power bills! That was BEFORE the congress added a month to it!
Since we still get most of our electricity from the dirtiest method possible by burning coal, this is adding a lot of pollution and green house gases to the atmosphere. See A REMINDER ABOUT COAL. A report on CBS News says heart attacks go up 6% during daylight time. Not sure why.
Here is my vote for leaving the darn clocks alone!
one hour later to be exact,