Debating Daylight Saving

On the early morning of March 11 we lost an hour and gained more evening daylight — a fair trade and welcomed change to what has been an exceptionally gloomy winter. I love the snow, but I’m at once happy to see it melt away on the valley floor and to have more time to enjoy Montana sunsets.

This is also the time of year when we argue over the necessity of changing our clocks. There’s long been a disagreement over whether we should still fall back and spring forward and if the original intent of implementing daylight saving time — to save energy — actually fulfills that goal.

A study by the Department of Energy published in 2008 found that using daylight saving time only saved 0.03 percent of electricity consumption over the course of a year. However, another study published that same year by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “contrary to the policy’s intent — DST increases residential electricity demand” with the “greatest increases in electricity consumptions in the fall.”