Sunday, March 08, 2009

Daylight Savings

Congress keeps extending DST. It lasts 8 months while standard time only lasts 4 months; it's becoming more normal to have our clocks running an hour fast. Daylight savings time was first instituted during World War I in order conserve coal. But does it still save energy in the age of CFL bulbs? The National Bureau of Economic Research has published a paper saying that Indiana is using more energy per capita since we adopted DST.

Congress does have a right and a responsibility to establish standards for measuring time, but ideally those standards should remain as uniform as possible. States and counties should not be allowed to make up their own time zones at will. If an Indiana company orders a shipment from a New York company and wants it delivered by 4pm Friday, there needs to be a mutual understanding of when 4pm is. In my job, I have personally watched truckers miss appointments because of confusion over DST. This can lead to expensive supply chain problems. While I do not fault Governor Daniels for bringing Indiana in line with the rest of the country, I do blame Congress for creating a complex scheme for keeping time. Congress should recognize the costs of DST, and abolish it throughout the country.

3 comments:

Jonathan Bartels said...

"We find that the policy costs Indiana
households an average of $3.29 per year in increased electricity bills..."

Admittedly, given a choice between dorking with the clocks or not and having ~$3 or not, I would prefer not to dork around with it and keep my cash. However, for $3 a year it hardly seems like its worth the time and hassle to do. Just leave it alone, maybe revisit it when we don't have the epic problems looming.

I would think that the legislature could save more money by debating more significant issues rather than DST that would yield less taxpayer money being spent.

Robert Enders said...

Congress' solution to the more significant issues is to spend more money. Wasting the legislature's time can be a worthwhile cause in certain conditions. Some legislators actually realize this fact. Recently, our General Assembly named the sugar creme pie as Indiana's official state pie.

Daddy said...

> the sugar creme pie

right here, let me fix it for you: "high fructose corn syrop chemical spiced creme pie"