Daylight saving conserves energy

Maybe Benjamin Franklin had something to do with it. Maybe it had to do with an early energy crisis. Or maybe, it’s simply connected with the earth’s changing seasons.

The real purpose of daylight saving time turns out to be a combination of all these things. Just before daylight saving started on Sunday at 2 a.m., Fresno State students guessed at the real reasons behind losing one hour of ever-so-needed sleep over the weekend.

Fresno State biology major Dylan Story credits Franklin for the time change. He said Franklin was attempting to conserve in the late 1700s.

“Changing the clocks back was proposed by Ben Franklin to save gas for lighting lamps,” Story said.

According to Ben Jonson in his book “Seize the Daylight,” Franklin was thought to have suggested the idea for daylight saving time in 1784. In a written letter to the French journal, “Journal de Paris,” Franklin proposed the idea of waking up earlier in summer in order to save Parisians from buying so many candles that were being used at night.

Other students see daylight saving differently. Fresno State chemistry major Larry Luna said that daylight saving is connected with the position of the sun to the earth and is our attempt to utilize as much daylight as we can.

Biology major Swapna Medichetti suggested that the time change has something to do with winter days being shorter and spring days being longer.

Fresno State instructor Stuart McFeeters, Ph.D., connected daylight saving to both the seasons and energy conservation, but he still wondered how effective the time change could be when the lights we don’t use at night would just be used in the morning because it is still dark.

“It is primarily an energy move,” said McFeeters, a certified Geographic Information Systems Professional and lecturer.

According to the California Energy Commission, a major portion of electricity consumed for lighting is used during the morning and evening hours. Because the winter months of November through February are the darkest months of the year, there is no benefit of daylight saving due to the late sunrise.

As for the rest of the year, daylight saving time is beneficial due to the more frequent use of energy in the low demand morning hours rather than in the high demand hours of the evening.

This year, daylight saving time started March 9 and will end Nov. 2. Two years ago, the time change would have began in April and changed back in October. However, in 2005, Congress and the Bush administration passed a bill to extend daylight saving by four weeks.

Hawaii and portions of Arizona do not follow the time change. For California, springing forward from Pacific Standard Time to Pacific Daylight Time will cause the state to synchronize with the Mountain Standard Time observed in parts of Arizona.

Bob Aldrich, a former information officer for the California Energy Commission, said the United States differs from other parts of the world on daylight saving. Aldrich said that since daylight hours are similar during every season for equatorial and tropical countries, those countries do not observe daylight saving time because there is no advantage to springing forward one hour. Approximately 70 other countries observe daylight saving time.

Fresno State liberal studies student Stephanie Cardona, a native of Puerto Rico, had to adjust to time changes in the United States.

“Where I am from, we have the same time all the time,” she said.

No matter the reason, switching to daylight saving time is somewhat of a nuisance for biology graduate student Stephanie Dwong.

Working in a lab, time is important, she said, and the time change could affect her lab schedule.

“I do not think it actually works,” Dwong said.

Many electronics that normally change automatically might need to be updated with the new daylight saving date, including cell phones (specifically some models before 2007) and calendars or other appointment programs on computers.

To update your electronics, go to the device manufacturer’s Web site and follow their instuctions.
Maybe Benjamin Franklin had something to do with it. Maybe it had to do with an early energy crisis. Or maybe, it’s simply connected with the earth’s changing seasons.

The real purpose of daylight saving time turns out to be a combination of all these things. Just before daylight saving started on Sunday at 2 a.m., Fresno State students guessed at the real reasons behind losing one hour of ever-so-needed sleep over the weekend.

Fresno State biology major Dylan Story credits Franklin for the time change. He said Franklin was attempting to conserve in the late 1700s.

“Changing the clocks back was proposed by Ben Franklin to save gas for lighting lamps,” Story said.

According to Ben Jonson in his book “Seize the Daylight,” Franklin was thought to have suggested the idea for daylight saving time in 1784. In a written letter to the French journal, “Journal de Paris,” Franklin proposed the idea of waking up earlier in summer in order to save Parisians from buying so many candles that were being used at night.

Other students see daylight saving differently. Fresno State chemistry major Larry Luna said that daylight saving is connected with the position of the sun to the earth and is our attempt to utilize as much daylight as we can.

Biology major Swapna Medichetti suggested that the time change has something to do with winter days being shorter and spring days being longer.

Fresno State instructor Stuart McFeeters, Ph.D., connected daylight saving to both the seasons and energy conservation, but he still wondered how effective the time change could be when the lights we don’t use at night would just be used in the morning because it is still dark.

“It is primarily an energy move,” said McFeeters, a certified Geographic Information Systems Professional and lecturer.

According to the California Energy Commission, a major portion of electricity consumed for lighting is used during the morning and evening hours. Because the winter months of November through February are the darkest months of the year, there is no benefit of daylight saving due to the late sunrise.

As for the rest of the year, daylight saving time is beneficial due to the more frequent use of energy in the low demand morning hours rather than in the high demand hours of the evening.

This year, daylight saving time started March 9 and will end Nov. 2. Two years ago, the time change would have began in April and changed back in October. However, in 2005, Congress and the Bush administration passed a bill to extend daylight saving by four weeks.

Hawaii and portions of Arizona do not follow the time change. For California, springing forward from Pacific Standard Time to Pacific Daylight Time will cause the state to synchronize with the Mountain Standard Time observed in parts of Arizona.

Bob Aldrich, a former information officer for the California Energy Commission, said the United States differs from other parts of the world on daylight saving. Aldrich said that since daylight hours are similar during every season for equatorial and tropical countries, those countries do not observe daylight saving time because there is no advantage to springing forward one hour. Approximately 70 other countries observe daylight saving time.

Fresno State liberal studies student Stephanie Cardona, a native of Puerto Rico, had to adjust to time changes in the United States.

“Where I am from, we have the same time all the time,” she said.

No matter the reason, switching to daylight saving time is somewhat of a nuisance for biology graduate student Stephanie Dwong.

Working in a lab, time is important, she said, and the time change could affect her lab schedule.

“I do not think it actually works,” Dwong said.

Many electronics that normally change automatically might need to be updated with the new daylight saving date, including cell phones (specifically some models before 2007) and calendars or other appointment programs on computers.

To update your electronics, go to the device manufacturer’s Web site and follow their instructions.

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