Thursday, October 30, 2008

More on Daylight "Saving"

What a crock. They ought to just end this idiocy once and for all rather than jet-lag the vast majority of Americans twice yearly. From the Wall Street Journal, and be sure to click on the link to the report earlier this year:  

Saving Daylight, but Wasting Electricity

As the Daylight Savings Time change looms, a research paper first reported in the Journal earlier this year, is making the rounds again.

The National Bureau of Economic Research presents the paper written by Matthew Kotchen and Laura Grant of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

They concluded that, contrary to conventional wisdom going all the way back to the days of Benjamin Franklin, daylight savings time actually “increases residential electricity demand.”

The economists examined monthly electricity billing data for Indiana from 2004 to 2006. Indiana is unique, the authors noted, because until 2006 many counties in the state didn’t practice DST. “The initial heterogeneity of DST among Indiana counties and the policy change in 2006 provides a natural experiment — with treatment and control sets of counties — to empirically identify the relationship between DST and residential electricity demand,” they wrote.

DST, they wrote, leads to a 1% increase in electricity demand, which in Indiana translates to about $9 million per year. The greatest rise in consumption is in the fall.

In addition, the “social cost” of increased pollution in the state is $1.7 million to $5.5 million per year, they estimate.

Meanwhile, “the effect is likely to be even stronger in other regions of the United States,” they wrote.

Ben Franklin — whose little nugget that a penny saved is a penny earned is also on shaky ground amid the financial crisis — must be rolling over in his grave.

Franklin “argued that if people adjusted their schedules to earlier in the day during summer months, when day length is longest, an immense sum of tallow and wax could be saved by the ‘economy of using sunshine rather than candles,’” Kotchen and Grant wrote, noting that Franklin even “satirically proposed the firing of cannons to awaken people at dawn and a tax on window shutters that keep out sunlight.”

At least he’s still got the C-note. –Brian Blackstone

To put it in terms we all understand, Daylight "Saving" Time actually costs us more money than if we just left the time alone (and not permanently IN DST - I don't want MY kids going to school in the dark). In other words, it's like being taxed for no reason, and you know who gets the money? The ENERGY company...

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