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Power Earth

Daylight Savings Time Increases Energy Use In Indiana 388

enbody writes "The Freakonomics Blog at NYTimes.com reports on a study of Indiana energy use for daylight savings time showing an increase in energy use of 1%. 'The dataset consists of more than 7 million observations on monthly billing data for the vast majority of households in southern Indiana for three years. Our main finding is that — contrary to the policy's intent — D.S.T. increases residential electricity demand.'" Maybe that's just from millions of coffee makers being pressed into extra duty.
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Daylight Savings Time Increases Energy Use In Indiana

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  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:05PM (#25696051)

    Daylight Saving Time. Saving, singular, not Savings, plural.

    As you were.

  • Well I live there (Score:4, Informative)

    by neo8750 (566137) <zepski AT zepski DOT net> on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:08PM (#25696077) Homepage
    I live in indiana and i can see why. Since it starts getting dark here about 5:30-6 and is fully dark by 7-7:30.
  • by Telecommando (513768) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:15PM (#25696147)

    Where I live, switching to DST means I'm getting up earlier, before sunrise and running lights I otherwise wouldn't need. Although it makes sundown later, it doesn't seem to save me much energy. I may run fewer lights, but I still have to run A/C, which is the major hit on my electric bill in the summer.

    Plus, I find the sudden shift back in the fall to be rather depressing. One Friday I'm coming home after work in the daylight and the following Monday I'm driving home in the dark. The gradual shift of the seasons would be less jarring for me at least.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:18PM (#25696163)

    Uhh, I don't know how's DST around your neck of the woods, but where I live it actually gets darker SOONER, not later.

  • Nothing new here (Score:2, Informative)

    by IcyHando'Death (239387) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:18PM (#25696167)

    DST has been studied many times over the years and the informed consensus is that it just doesn't work. Here's a good link about it: http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/03/11/think-daylight-saving-time-saves-energy-think-again-or-not/ [autobloggreen.com]

    The long and the short of the matter is this. It's good for business - it gets people out of the house and into the stores after work. So business lobbies government for the required legislation and pushes the energy saving myth to snow the public into going along with it (despite it being an inconvenience in the minds of many).

  • by Pearlswine (1121125) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:33PM (#25696287)
    Yes, you fall back to standard time, this removes the effect of Daylight Savings Time.
  • by FictionPimp (712802) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:35PM (#25696301) Homepage

    I live in Indiana in a county that had no daylight savings. I would get up and the sun would be just rising. I would shower and drive to work in the morning sun. I would work all day and come home and the sun would still be up. I would do my house work and eat dinner and the sun would be setting. During the winter I would get home just a hour or so before dusk and nothing else would much change.

    Now I get up and it is dark. I turn on lights, take a shower and because it is dark out I just feel more tired. This means I actually take longer to take my shower and get ready to go to work. On top of this I find myself drinking coffee to stay awake. I get home and it is still daylight, but it still feels like it gets dark just as quickly.

    Worse then that is the period leading up to the time change. It was dark when I woke up and dark when I got home. This was the previous month before we switched times again. Daylight savings is a stupid premise imho.

  • by zappepcs (820751) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:04PM (#25696587) Journal

    Most excellent. Pedantry is becoming a lost art. You can almost never find a grammar nazi when you need one. - â" ... ermmm both em-dash and hyphen are available on your keyboard btw. Try this link for information. http://www.visionn.com/learn/13-hyphens-en-dashes-and-em-dashes-don-t-let-friends-dash-incorrectly [visionn.com]

  • Re:DST Is Insane (Score:3, Informative)

    by greyhueofdoubt (1159527) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:16PM (#25696691) Homepage Journal

    >>One of these days, we're going to have an accidental missile launch

    I don't work with nukes, but the stuff I do work with uses zulu (UTC) time. This has its own problems, but DST is not one of them.


  • by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:30PM (#25696821)

    Second, what is the one percent based on? Previous months use? Historical and adjusted values for same month use?

    Third, do the increases adjust for changes in fall activities. For instance, were the kids all going to school at the same time? Does the start of school effect the figures?Do the number of holidays effect the figures?

    To answer questions about methodolgies, it seems fairly straightforward. Indiana had counties that observed and did not observe DST. In 2006, it mandated that all counties use DST. Hence, there you can compare the counties before and after DST (using year-to-year data), while comparing neighboring counties changes over the same time period to correct for seasonal variances, etc. Or you can compare neighbors side by side in the past, and then compare them currently, to determine what differences are due to geography vs. DST.

    For more information, read the paper.

  • by Acapulco (1289274) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:36PM (#25696865)
    You just get swoooshed. :)
  • by FLEB (312391) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:40PM (#25696897) Homepage Journal

    I'm gonna say "yes" on all the above.

  • by cpghost (719344) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:44PM (#25696927) Homepage
    Probability Theory 101: the bigger the sample population, the more accuracy one can obtain. 1% is all too random for 1,000 people, but for 1,000,000 people, it tells a lot more. Of course, other factors are important too.
  • Re:not a blip (Score:4, Informative)

    by online-shopper (159186) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @04:15PM (#25697145)

    No, thanks to our governor, all Indiana counties have DST.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 09, 2008 @04:21PM (#25697211)

    (cough) A dash is not a hyphen.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dash [wikipedia.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyphen [wikipedia.org]

  • by maeka (518272) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @04:58PM (#25697525) Journal

    I have a window cube, and have no control over the overhead lights.

  • by bob65 (590395) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @05:14PM (#25697651)

    Are you joking? The day is always 24 hours long. Do you really think that DST makes days 25 hours long?

    I'm gonna say "yes" on all the above.

    You think the grandparent was joking about DST days being 25 hours long, and at the same time, believes that DST days are 25 hours long?

  • by porcupine8 (816071) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @05:36PM (#25697807) Journal
    Yeah, notice how it gets dark SOONER now? That's because DST just ENDED.
  • by fireman sam (662213) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @05:40PM (#25697843) Homepage Journal

    Do you hate getting out of bed 1 hour earlier at the start of daylight savings. Try this:

    1 week before daylight savings starts, set your alarm 10 minutes earlier each day. That is it.

    Your body adjusts a lot better to the 10 minute differences than it does to one 1 hour difference.

    That is all.

  • by Eskarel (565631) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @07:15PM (#25698545)
    The old fluros were like that, but I haven't seen flickering or humming from a CFL in any of the houses I've run them in over the last many years.

    Can't really say I've noticed much in the way of light quality difference. Nor for that matter have I ever actually broken a CFL.

    Traditional fluorescents do suck, they're expensive and tedious to replace and do generally result in poor light and when they get older flicker and all that sort of annoyance(they're not too bad when they're brand new, but that's not all that often).

    Generally, I've had pretty much nothing but good things to say about CFL bulbs, they last for bloody ever, you can get a nice white light(if you like that sort of thing which I do), they're cheaper to run, and they're good for the environment, ticks all the boxes for me.

  • Re:Same over here (Score:3, Informative)

    by caluml (551744) <slashdot@EINSTEI ... m.org minus phys> on Sunday November 09, 2008 @08:20PM (#25699047) Homepage
    Don't forget though - in the UK, we're way up in latitude terms than almost all of the US, I think. That Gulf Stream keeps us warm, and makes us forget that we're more northerly than a lot of "cold" places.
    London - 51 degrees north. Calgary - 51 degrees north. Irkutsk, Siberia - 52 degrees. Feel sorry for the Scots though - Edinburgh is almost 56 degrees north. That's further than Moscow at 55.
    Thank god for the Gulf Stream, and our nice warm blanket of cloud. :)
  • by jc42 (318812) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @09:29PM (#25699395) Homepage Journal

    both em-dash and hyphen are available on your keyboard btw

    What you linked to does not prove what you said. Putting in codes to output the characters you want is not, in my mind, the same as 'available on your keyboard,' and Pedantic-Man isn't especially interested in such nonsense as outputting different types of dashes/hyphens when the 'minus key' on the keyboard will do for the sake of clarity. Pedantic-Man is also pretty lazy. :)

    Pedantic-Man says, "Stay out of trouble!"

    Good advice. I checked out those en- and em-dash inputs on this Mac Powerbook, and sure enough, I get three different-length dashes. But a hex dump showed me that the en-dash and em-dash are both UTF-8 encoded. So I'll predict that if I enter them here, they won't show up correctly on many readers' screens. Let's try:

    - hyphen
    - en-dash
    -- em-dash

    Now is there a way to find out what fraction of readers see all of those as the proper-length dashes on their screens? Hmmm ... Let's try the Preview button and see if it even works on my own screen ... Nope; the first two came back as hyphens, and the em-dash came back as a double hyphen. So the claim that I can input them from my keyboard failed spectacularly in this simple case.

    The problem, of course, is that there is no universally-accepted encoding for the en-dash or the em-dash. Only the ASCII hyphen works reliably everywhere. If /. accepted UTF-8-encoded input and didn't damage it, AND if /. correctly labelled the text as charset="UTF-8", AND if everyone's browser correctly displayed UTF-8 text, it would have worked. But it's been more than 15 years since Ken T gave us the UTF-8 encoding, and most of the computer world (especially inside the US and Europe) has quietly ignored it.

    (Yes, I know that by "most of the computer world" I meant Microsoft. But in this case, MS probably isn't involved; the damage was done by slashdot's software. MS isn't to blame for all of our communication problems. Both Apple and the linux crowd have made snafus out of their attempts to move to UTF-8 and Unicode, and much of the web runs software that damages UTF-8 text with malice aforethought, as /. did to my above test. ;-)

  • by the plant doctor (842044) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @09:36PM (#25699447)

    And there is no excuse for farmers anymore, one of my family members is an 'agricultural engineer'. These days farms are industrialized and literally work 24/7 to work their huge lands with as little (very expensive) machinery as possible (having 3-shifts of work on 1 machine).

    Yes, clearly, my father that runs a small dairy farm is fully industrialized and works 3-shifts by himself daily at the age of 69. C'mon, get out and meet some real farmers in person, it's not what you described at all, at least not in my family or around here where I live now.

"Mr. Watson, come here, I want you." -- Alexander Graham Bell