Does Daylight Saving Time Save Electricity?
March 11, 2021
“Spring forward & fall backward” - at least that’s how the old saying goes when the time comes to adjust our clock for daylight savings time.
The origin of daylight savings is traced back to Benjamin Franklin. He believed that adjusting clocks would conserve candles back in 1784. The U.S. government eventually instituted the idea during the first world war in an effort to preserve energy, and we have been following the practice ever since.
The world has changed a great deal since then. We have more appliances, along with resource-intensive heating and cooling systems that affect energy usage. Given the changed nature of our world, does adjusting for daylight savings still save energy?
Research studies aren’t conclusive
Research measuring electricity usage patterns is limited - especially since heating, air conditioning, and household electronics have become more prevalent in recent years. Of the studies that have been performed, the results are mixed and highly dependent on the study’s location and the time period when it was conducted.
One of the first studies to document energy consumption during daylight savings time was conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The results of the study concluded that daylight saving trimmed electricity usage by approximately 1% nationwide.
Approximately forty years later in 2007, researchers at the California Energy Commission conducted a new investigation. After analyzing the period between spring and fall, they discovered that extending daylight time resulted in a drop in energy use of 0.2%. However, when the statistical margin of error of 1.5% was taken into account the researchers concluded there was no real change.
Researchers from California then studied energy patterns in Indiana after daylight saving was instituted for the first time across the state. After investigating usage patterns and billing, the researchers found that the shift to daylight savings led to a 1% overall rise in residential electricity consumption along with an extra electricity cost of $9 million. The researchers then concluded that the increased demand for heating during fall and winter mornings along with cooling during spring and summer evenings led to increased electricity usage.
The mixed results from the studies can be attributed to the varying geographical differences. California has a mild, sunny climate when compared to Indiana with its frigid temperatures during winter - just like many parts of Canada.
LEDs can help offset increased daylight savings electricity usage
Switching to LEDs can help businesses save 70-90% in electricity costs. These cost savings can offset the rise in energy usage from increased heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. Lighting can take up nearly 20% of an electricity bill for the average commercial enterprise - that’s more than computers, office equipment and even air conditioning!
And while LEDs use less energy during operation, innovative technology such as sensors and advanced controls can save even more money through increased efficiency. That’s why LEDs provide more benefits than just immediate cost savings - they are an investment that maximizes the value of your property in the long term.
No upfront costs for a leaner, greener future!
Radiance Energy is committed to making the transition easier for more businesses through financing plans that pay for the project quickly. And with every new project, we give back to the community by donating free commercial-grade LED lights to learning-assistance classrooms.
Experience the power of LED lighting while saving money, increasing property value, and giving back to the community. Click here to book your complimentary audit today!