Have fun resetting all those clocks this weekend. Sorry about the hour you lose.
PS- we have to have something to make up for Sheriff Joe, and not farting with DST eases the pain a bit. See my article here about why DST is an outdated concept that no longer saves energy -- it turns out that the nature of electricity demand has changed over the last 100 years since DST was first tried. Who would have thought? Anyway, this research essentially demonstrates that Arizona is at the forefront of modern, science-based environmentalism.
Dear Rest of the Country
Hope you are having fun changing all your clocks. Do you remember how to change that one on your oven? Yeah, neither do we.
-- Sincerely, Arizona
My past articles on why, even if it once saved energy, DST likely is counter-productive here.
Why? Because we don't have daylight savings time. I have argued for years that DST may have made sense when electricity demand was driven by lighting, but air conditioning actually reverses the equation, putting people at home during more of the cooling hours. The Liberty Papers links to a study with similar results:
Our main finding is that"”contrary to the policy's intent"”DST increases residential electricity demand. Estimates of the overall increase are approximately 1 percent, but we find that the effect is not constant throughout the DST period. DST causes the greatest increase in electricity consumption in the fall, when estimates range between 2 and 4 percent. These findings are consistent with simulation results that point to a tradeoff between reducing demand for lighting and increasing demand for heating and cooling. We estimate a cost of increased electricity bills to Indiana households of $9 million per year. We also estimate social costs of increased pollution emissions that range from $1.7 to $5.5 million per year. Finally, we argue that the effect is likely to be even stronger in other regions of the United States.
I think that Arizona's decision not to go on DST is a great one. Being outside in the summer sunshine in Phoenix can be miserable, but the desert cools very quickly once the sun goes down. The earlier the sun goes down in the summer, the better as far as I am concerned. Within an hour or two after sunset, it is pleasant to sit and eat and play outside.
A new study seems to show that DST increases electricity use, rather than reducing it. DST was, if my memory serves, a WWII innovation to save electricity. It does so quite well if electricity demand is driven mainly by lighting. It lets one read and function by sunlight in the evening hours. However, as air conditioning has become a larger element of electricity demand, that equation is changing. DST can lead to higher air conditioning loads in the evenings.
Our main finding is that"”contrary to the policy's intent"”DST increases
residential electricity demand. Estimates of the overall increase range
from 1 to 4 percent, but we find that the effect is not constant
throughout the DST period. There is some evidence of electricity
savings during the spring, but the effect lessens, changes sign, and
appears to cause the greatest increase in consumption near the end of
the DST period in the fall. These findings are consistent with
simulation results that point to a tradeoff between reducing demand for
lighting and increasing demand for heating and cooling. Based on the
dates of DST practice before the 2007 extensions, we estimate a cost of
increased electricity bills to Indiana households of $8.6 million per
year. We also estimate social costs of increased pollution emissions
that range from $1.6 to $5.3 million per year.
But its dry heat.
As a public service, Arizona is taking onto itself all the worldwide effects of global warming, thereby saving polar bears in Greenland and archipelago-living indigenous peoples. Once it gets over about 108 you don't really notice the difference anyway. Picture taken at 4:50PM MST today in the inappropriately-named (at least for today) Paradise Valley, AZ. For all those who want to compare this to hell, I would remind you that the core of Dante's hell was frozen and cold, not hot. Dante knew what he was talking about. It may be hot but there is nothing to shovel off my driveway.
By the way, when people laugh at Arizona for not observing Daylight Savings Time, this is why we don't. At nearly 5:00, we are hitting our peak temperature. If we observed DST, we would not be hitting this peak until 6:00. Temperatures here will cool over the next two hours by 20 degrees (its already fallen nearly 3 degrees in the 20 minutes since I took the picture, and the sun is not down yet). With this fast temperature drop typical of the desert combined with evening shade, it will be nice enough to be outside, eating or relaxing or watching a little league game by 7:00. If I had my druthers, I would observe reverse daylight time, going back rather than forward an hour in the spring. More observations on DST from myself and Virginia Postrel here.