WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

I cannot, for the life of me, figure out the energy savings used as an excuse by the government for daylight savings time?!!??!!? Based on the seasons and earth's rotation there will be X amount of light each day. Changing clocks forward and backward does not change this day light period. People who like more day light after leaving work are going to have that simply by the extra length of time we have during the summer anyway. More electricty is used for lighting our offices when we arrive and it's dark outside. Etc Etc Etc.

Posted March 17, 2007 9:51 a.m. EDT

MIKE MOSS SAYS:      Lynwood,    You are certainly correct that changing clocks doesn't alter the balance of sunlight and darkness for the year as a whole. The idea behind energy savings when using daylight time is that there tends to be more energy used in the evenings after work/school than in the morning before work/school, and by people working later in offices than by those working early, and that by shifting an hour of daylight into this period at the end of the day, there will be less need for artificial lighting for the day as a whole. Apparently, studies by the energy department and others have confirmed that this does have a measurable, non-trivial effect on lowering total energy consumption during the late spring to early fall, but the effects taper off and perhaps reverse sign during the winter months due to added electrical demand in the dark mornings. Because of this, there is some uncertainty as to whether any net energy savings will result from this year's extension of DST.