Daylight Saving Time (DST) may have been around for more than century. Yet it remains a contentious issue. While DST proponents believe it helps save energy, increase road safety, and encourages people to enjoy the outdoors, skeptics think otherwise.

How Daylight Saving Time started

According to the Congressional Research Service, Germany adapted DST during World War 1 to conserve fuel with the extra hour of daylight in the evening. Soon other European countries followed suit. The US started DST in 1918. While it was repealed by the US Congress in 1919, DST was brought back during World War 2 with the country observing it year-round. It became a twice-yearly changing of the clocks in 1966. With the oil embargo in 1973, DST became year-round again in 1974 but was switched back to standard time before the year ended. Then in 2007, DST saw yet another change as its start and end dates were revised from April to October to March to November making DST 3 weeks longer.

Weighing DST’s savings

While DST was devised to conserve energy, studies have contradicted this idea. SciAm magazine reported that when Indiana implemented statewide DST in 2006, a study made by economist Matthew Kotchen of the University of California and his colleague Laura Grant found that daylight time led to a 1 percent overall rise in residential electricity use, costing the state an extra $9 million. Although daylight time reduces demand for household lighting, the researchers suggest that it increased demand for cooling on summer evenings and heating in early spring and late fall mornings. Similarly, in 2007 when DST was extended by 3 weeks,  the California Energy Commission found the extra sunlight made little to no difference with the observed drop of 0.2 percent in energy usage well within the statistical margin of error of 1.5 percent.

Switch appliances not time

So, when it comes to saving on electricity, instead of switching between DST and standard time, others advocate switching old appliances for energy-efficient ones. Also, switching to more sustainable sources of power like solar and wind energy could also greatly reduce energy consumption.

By saving on power, not only do you get to save money, but you also get to manage your budget smartly and avoid getting into debt. If you want to know more about living a debt free life, call Financial Rescue’s customer representatives. We can help you sort out your finances so you can get out of debt without the extra hassle.