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    Daylight Savings Time (5-part Blog: Part 4)

    An Economic Perspective

    According to British researchers from Cambridge University, England’s government contends that the practice of daylight savings time is favorable for many things, including, cutting down on car accidents. They also contend that there is a two percent daily reduction in electricity usage. The researchers found that the government’s statements are largely unsupported, and there is no reason to think that daylight savings time is an energy-saver. Further it should not be assumed as favorable for cutting down on car accidents. In fact, the British researchers could not find studies that were ever commissioned to form such opinions.

    In the United States, a 2008 study conducted by Matthew Kotchen, an economist at the University of California, resulted in the conclusion that daylight savings time actually costs more money. Kotchen contends that because of the extra hour of daylight savings time, we turn on air conditioning for longer periods, thereby increasing energy costs. That is largely because people get home an hour earlier to a warmer house and have the need for an extra hour of air conditioning. That seems pretty simple; however, there are those who disagree with Kotchen. Who, would disagree? This may not be a surprise, but just like in England, the United States government disagrees with independent researchers. However, unlike England, the United States sent the Department of Energy to do the study, and they came back with an argument in favor of energy savings with regards to daylight savings time. Imagine that?

    If you continue to read about the arguments for and against daylight savings time, you may be just like us and not know who to believe. However, governments seem to have a higher stake economically in keeping the practice going. Perhaps the earlier discussion of once something is legislated, it becomes difficult to change has some merit.

    As for the people, they don’t all agree either. For instance, national telephone surveys by Rasmussen show that many people just don’t think time change is worth all the hassle. At least 47 percent of the people surveyed said that it was not worth it, while 40 percent thought that the time change was worth the hassle.

    On the other hand, author David Prerau states that his research shows that most people are quite fond of daylight savings time. He maintains that the first day of daylight savings time is like the first day of spring for many people. Prerau contends that if you ask most people if they enjoy daylight savings time, they would give you a favorable answer.

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