Friday, March 16, 2007

Displaced Daylight

In our home we quit observing time changes. Part of the reason is that our digital alarm clock, circa 1990, has become temperamental about having its buttons pushed. But I also just plain don’t appreciate having to drastically re-adjust my perception of time twice a year. I truly prefer to glean the hour of day by the angle of the sunlight and the season, not by social convention. So instead of changing our clocks every equinox, my husband and I prefer to stick to summer time and tabulate the difference in our heads through the cold, dark days of winter.

I figure we are somewhat atypical in this respect, but my mother alerted me to the fact that my maternal great grandparents – also avid gardeners -- were the same way. So obstinance runs in the family, I guess.

This nouveau daylight savings time schedule has me a little puzzled. I can’t see how more energy will be saved.

This new schedule was introduced to try to help save energy, since people aren't expected to need their lights on as early in the evening. But there is still some debate about how effective the change will be at reducing energy consumption.

A 2006 report from the U.S. Department of Energy anticipated electricity savings of four-tenths of a per cent per day of extended daylight savings time, totaling three one-hundredths of a per cent of annual electricity consumption.

As to the environmental impact, the non-profit group American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimated 10.8-million-tonne drop in carbon emissions. (source)

I get that people will not need their lights on in the evening for that extra hour, but what about the extra hour of darkness in the morning as they prepare for work? I don’t know about you, but in the evening I’m more sedentary. I only use one or two light bulbs at a time. In the morning, I’m scrambling around the house, so I tend to require at least three light bulbs. That may just be me talking, because not everyone awakens or leaves the house at the same time as I do. Does anyone else have a perspective on whether they think this will work?

What I do like about the change is that it allows me more time to get out in the garden after work. This has been a treat. I’m not complaining at all. After all, I prefer summer (daylight savings) time all year round.


At March 19, 2007 6:54 PM, Blogger PeakEngineer said...

My wife and I agree with you -- we definitely prefer the evening light better. It makes your day feel longer and we can get more done outside....maybe we'll stick with you and ignore the change in the fall :)

At March 21, 2007 2:34 PM, Blogger Jade said...

Thanks for your input, Peak Engineer, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one enjoying the "longer" days.

At March 22, 2007 2:44 PM, Blogger ericswan said...

I doubt it has any value to me and believe it is a "jump through this hoop" government psy op to prove how much power they have.

At April 06, 2007 1:40 PM, Blogger Jade said...

Perhaps, ericswan, but in that case, they probably didn't expect anyone was going to be thrilled about it. Maybe that classifies it as one of those unknown unknowns I've heard so much about?


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