Daylight Savings Time and Energy Consumption

Does ‘springing ahead’ for Daylight Savings Time really save energy?

In the weeks to come, countries across the globe will be preparing to set their clocks forward an hour to coincide with Daylight Savings Time (DST). While many countries, including Canada and the United States will be adjusting their clocks this weekend, on Sunday, March 8th at 2:00 a.m., many other countries will not follow suit for another couple of weeks.

Despite the fact that most provinces and states within North America recognize DST, there are a few that do not. Which leads to the question: Why do we change our clocks twice a year in accordance with DST?

It has long since been argued that DST assists countries with their energy saving endeavours. By setting our clocks ahead one hour in the Spring, inhabitants are better able to make use of daylight at the end of the day, thereby reducing electricity consumption. However, alternatively, it has also been suggested that perhaps with more daylight, comes more consumption. Countries that participate in DST are believed to be consuming more power than before, using electricity to power machines, such as air conditioners, due to hot days lasting longer into the evenings.

Have a look at this informative video from TIME that helps breakdown Daylight Savings Time and the history behind it.

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