Q&A – Daylight Saving Time

Today’s question came via Twitter - @brianmuddradio so just a thought a couple of days when you were talking about daylight saving time and keeping it permanent. Just to clear everything up wasn't it designed to save energy doesn't that still apply to some degree

Bottom Line: Yes, the origin of daylight saving time is specifically tied to energy conservation but no, it really doesn’t apply to our current society. I’ll explain. 

The very first observed daylight saving time was April 30th,1916, by Germany and Austria. The cited reason was, as you mentioned, to conserve energy during the war. Two years later the United States took it up as well. The first daylight saving time in the United States took place on March 31st, 1918, also as an effort to conserve energy during the war. After the first World War, it was repealed in the United States and didn’t show up again until the 2nd World War. Franklin D. Roosevelt brought it back in 1942 calling it “War Time” and kept it through 1945. 

The current incarnation of daylight saving time was signed into law in 1974 as part of the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act. Clearly the premise was that it would save energy. But the question is if it really works, especially in today’s society. In 2017, the most comprehensive study of the energy savings related to time changes took place. The study utilized data from 44 individual studies and found the average energy savings is 0.3%. What’s more is that as we continue to become more energy efficient that number will continue to drop. 

Contrast that with the negative economic impact of the time change, which using JP Morgan data from 2017 and calculating the impact based on Florida’s current economy, suggests we lose between $12 to $26 billion annually due to the change. In other words, if it's an energy and economic argument, it’s now firmly against exiting Daylight Saving Time and will only continue to grow over time. There’s even a health component to it. In the first two days after entering Daylight Saving Time stroke and heart attack risks rise by 10%.

Submit your question by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Photo by: SEBASTIAN KAHNERT/AFP/Getty Images

 

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