Daylight Saving Time: Springing Ahead, or Falling Behind?


Did you remember to spring ahead yesterday? Every year, the change from Standard to Daylight Saving Time (DST) is met with some level of befuddlement and confusion.

You might wonder why we even have a time change, what good does it do, and whether there could be a simpler option. Those are really good questions – and the Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter today to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to get some answers.

With DOT charged with enforcing Daylight Saving Time under the Uniform Time Act of 1966, the committee raises questions to the department about the costs and benefits associated with the biannual change between DST and Standard Time. We ask because in 2007, the Department of Energy submitted a report to Congress finding only 0.03 percent electricity savings, 0.02 percent total U.S. energy consumption savings, and no statistically significant change to traffic or gas consumption as a result of the time changes.

Americans should know if there’s updated research on the impacts of time change, positive or negative, on traffic, energy consumption, consumer activity, or any other economically relevant factor.

Let’s be honest, the extra hour of sunlight in the evenings is great. And if there’s really no benefit to falling behind, it’s worth asking these questions and having a conversation about the utility of remaining on DST full time. Until then, hopefully you made it to work on time!

Click here to read the full letter online.