March 11, 2011: Markey & Upton: Time Really is Money During Daylight Savings Time

After A Harsh Winter, Spring Brings Smiles and Savings from Extension of Popular Program
WASHINGTON, D.C. –In the dark hours of the night this Sunday, Daylight Saving Time will go into effect bringing with it evening sunshine that will last longer and savings for millions of American families on their energy bills. All from an extension of the program co-authored by Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
We can’t put a price on the happiness an extra hour of sunshine can bring, but we can count the savings,” said Rep. Markey. “Government analysis has proven that extra sunshine provides more than just smiles. Daylight Saving Time saves consumers money and also curbs the nation’s energy consumption, which means lower energy bills, less pollution, and more reasons to enjoy the outdoors.”

“Between energy conservation, lower bills and fewer traffic accidents, the benefits of extending Daylight Saving Time are many – not to mention the additional hour of sunshine in the evening will help chase away the winter blues,” said Rep. Upton.
As part of the 2005 Energy Bill, Reps. Markey and Upton amended the Uniform Time Act of 1996 to increase the portion of the year that is subject to DST, providing longer hours of daylight and helping consumers cut back on peak-hour electricity usage. The Markey-Upton Amendment extended the duration of DST in the spring by changing its start date from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March, and in the fall by changing its end date from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in November.
The amendment required that the Department of Energy prepare a report evaluating the impact of the extended DST program. The key findings of the DOE report, issued in October 2008, included:

  • The total electricity savings of Extended Daylight Saving Time were about 1.3 Tera Watt-hour (TWh). This corresponds to a reduction in total use per individual of 0.5 percent per each day of Extended Daylight Saving Time.
  • These savings translate to $498 million in electricity savings and reduced oil usage of 2.9 million barrels of oil.
  • During Extended Daylight Saving Time, electricity savings generally occurred over a three- to five-hour period in the evening with small increases in usage during the early-morning hours.