Home » Congress » DST Energy Savings Didn’t Happen

DST Energy Savings Didn’t Happen

Under the we-told-you-so category, it turns out Congressional action to change daylight savings time didn’t really save any energy at all, causing many System Administrators a lot of trouble for no benefit.

As it turns out, the US Department of Energy (and almost everyone else except members of Congress) was correct when they predicted that there would be little energy savings. This echoed concerns voiced after a similar experiment was attempted in Australia. Critics pointed out a basic fact: the gains in the morning will be offset by the losses at night, and vice-versa, at both ends of the switch. That appears to be exactly what happened.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The early onset of Daylight Savings Time in the United States this year may have been for naught.

The move to turn the clocks forward by an hour on March 11 rather than the usual early April date was mandated by the U.S. government as an energy-saving effort.

But other than forcing millions of drowsy American workers and school children into the dark, wintry weather three weeks early, the move appears to have had little impact on power usage.

“We haven’t seen any measurable impact,” said Jason Cuevas, spokesman for Southern Co., one of the nation’s largest power companies, echoing comments from several large utilities.

Once again, Congress feels the need to “do something”, even if it’s stupid and won’t accomplish anything, and even if they’ve been told beforehand it won’t work. Oh well, at least they sleep better at night for “helping” solve the energy problem by changing DST rules.

But look at the bill itself:


(a) Amendment- Section 3(a) of the Uniform Time Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. 260a(a)) is amended–

(1) by striking `first Sunday of April’ and inserting `second Sunday of March’; and

(2) by striking `last Sunday of October’ and inserting `first Sunday of November’.

(b) Effective Date- Subsection (a) shall take effect 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act or March 1, 2007, whichever is later.

(c) Report to Congress- Not later than 9 months after the effective date stated in subsection (b), the Secretary shall report to Congress on the impact of this section on energy consumption in the United States.

(d) Right to Revert- Congress retains the right to revert the Daylight Saving Time back to the 2005 time schedules once the Department study is complete.

Only Congress could mandate such sweeping change, and only decide to study the effects after it’s enacted. These are the people going to solve budget, healthcare and other critical issues? With nifty and well thought-out legislation like this, it’s one reason why we say “gridlock is good” — a do-nothing Congress is good for the country.


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