Saturday, March 1, 2008

DST Policy counterproductive?

I like having it be light late into the evening during the summer very much. It makes it fell like there's a lot of life to be lived after 6PM even if I don't stay up any later anyways. But, as one of my readers has long felt, the whole DST thing is just a pain in the butt and doesn't really serve much of a person in most people's lives other than to rob them of an hour of sleep in the spring and give it back in the fall.

At any rate, with the changes implemented last year in the DST rules in the US, and specifically, the adoption of DST for the entire state of Indiana last year, the opportunity arose to allow the examination of the lead justification for continuing the practice: it saves consumers money and reduces energy consumption. According to a summary by Joseph Romm posted to Grist, researchers examined the energy usage for the past three years (pre and post change) in Indiana and determined that the change cost the states residents more than not changing the clocks.

They're apparently not the only ones, either. Mr. Romm's article continues by pointing out that an Australian study reached similar conclusions.

So not only is it annoying to remember to change the clocks (and if you are dealing internationally, to remember which countries have and haven't switched yet for coordinating meetings) twice a year, the stated purpose of conserving energy is likely not being achieved. So, why are we still doing this?