We all know Daylight Savings Time (DST) and we can’t help but be affected by the clock moving one hour earlier each year. Have you ever wondered why this happens?..
The practice dates back about 100 years, but the original idea is believed to have origins in ancient society. Ancient civilizations are believed to have engaged in a practice similar to modern DST, where they would adjust their daily schedules to the Sun’s schedule.
Germany was the first country to implement DST. Clocks there were first turned forward at 11:00 p.m. (23:00) on April 30, 1916. The rationale was to minimize the use of artificial lighting in order to save fuel and energy for World War I.
Another rationale behind daylight saving was to put the clocks forward and have persons awake one hour earlier in Spring. They would use less energy lighting their homes, as personal patterns were in tandem with the sunlight hours. As sunlight tapered off into a later pattern towards the end of the year, persons awoke to find increasing darkness and clocks went back one hour to allow more light in the morning.
A report released in 2006 by the United States Department of Energy anticipated energy savings from DST, to be somewhere in the region of 0.5% per day of daylight saving time. That is roughly 0.03% of annual energy consumption, which ideally does not sound like much. However with the province of Ontario demanding roughly 60 terawatt hours annually, 0.03% is just about 2 terawatt reduction in demand annually. The equivalent of 2 000 000 megawatt hours. Figures coming out of a 2006 report from the U.S. Department of Energy solidified these numbers and basically echoed what was stated previously.
The non-profit group American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimated the prolonged period of daylight time would cut carbon emissions by 10.8 million tonnes, reducing the environmental impact of energy use. At EnerScope we are all about reducing energy use, as this is our main focus.