Daylight Saving Time Costs You Money
First off — it’s Daylight Saving Time – not “savings”. It’s a single time period that we’re talking about. That said, many Americans might be surprised that a research project contradicts one of the central reasons for the creation of DST.
The move to Daylight Saving actually used 1 percent more electricity than if people stuck to Standard Time, according to a 2008 study on residents in Indiana. In other areas of the United States, the time change could cost people even more.
How is that possible? Wisdom was that we would use less electricity if we shifted the hours of darkness. But, Daylight Saving Time fails to account for the fact that people adjust their heating and cooling needs according to the time shift.
During the colder months of Daylight Saving, Indiana residents turned up the heat because they were getting up an hour closer to the coldest part of the night, the researchers found. In the summer months, they cranked up the air-conditioner because they were getting home an hour closer to the hottest part of the day.
The extra electricity cost for Daylight Saving: $3.29 per Indiana household per year or $9 million for the state as a whole. The state lost another $1.7 million to $5.5 million in pollution-related social costs, the researchers estimate.
Those extra costs add up more in some states.
Those extra costs could be even more pronounced in southern states, where the demand for air-conditioning is higher, according to the study’s authors, Matthew Kotchen, a professor of environmental economics at Yale, and Laura Grant, a doctoral student at the University of California, Santa Barbara.