The first observed Daylight Savings Time (DST) was April 30th,1916 by Germany and Austria. The cited reason was to conserve energy during World War I. Two years later, the United States took it up as well. The first DST in the United States took place on March 31st, 1918.
After the first World War, it was repealed in the United States and didn’t show up again until the 2nd World War. FDR brought it back in 1942 calling it “War Time” and kept it through 1945.
The current incarnation of DST 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 the JP Morgan data 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 the argument is one of energy/economy, 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%.
Here’s hoping Senator Rubio’s Sunshine Protection Act is finally acted on in Congress and this weekend’s time change is the last.
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