Markey: It’s Polar to Solar with Daylight Savings Time Extension
Lawmaker is author of law that saves money, increases smiles
Boston (March 7, 2014) – Early this Sunday morning, America’s smartphones, tablets and PCs will automatically jump ahead an hour for Daylight Saving Time (DST). And while we’ll have to set the rest of the clocks ourselves, we’ll be doing it a little sooner thanks to a law passed in 2005 by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Republican Congressman Fred Upton (R-Mich.). As part of the 2005 energy bill, then-Rep. Markey and Rep. 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.
“After this long, dreary winter, people are ready to go from polar to solar. Instead of most of the United States still being covered in snow, our evenings will be bathed in sunlight a little longer, and a little sooner than before,” said Senator Markey. “In addition to the benefits of energy savings, fewer traffic fatalities, more recreation time and increased economic activity, Daylight Saving Time helps clear away the winter blues a little earlier. 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. We all just feel sunnier after we set the clocks ahead.”
The Markey 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.
In 1985, Rep. Markey also partnered with Rep. Carlos Moorhead (R-Calif.) to extend DST by three weeks.