PSA: Most of US gains an hour tonight

In most of the United States you’ll want turn back your clock one hour before turning in tonight. You don’t want to be one of those who shows up an hour early for church.

Of course we’re not saving any daylight. You gain an extra hour’s sleep which you have to pay back in the spring.

But are we saving energy as is the intent of Daily Saving Time? Economists Matthew J. Kotchen and Laura E. Grant find quite the contrary. Why?

The fact that we identify the underlying tradeoff between artificial illumination and primarily air-conditioning suggests that the DST effect that we estimate is likely to be even stronger in the more populated, southern regions of the Unites States. Further south, the days are shorter during the summer, meaning that decreases in electrical use from lighting are likely to be smaller, and air conditioning is more common and intensively used, meaning that increases in electricity for cooling are likely to be bigger.

In short, energy-wise DST made sense back in WW I when it came into existence. Based on today’s scientific evidence and technology (air conditioning) isn’t it time to sunset this legislation?

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