Why do we have daylight saving time?

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Daylight Saving ends Sunday which means we gain back an hour of sleep but lose an hour of daylight, but have you ever wondered why we have daylight saving time?

Daylight Saving started during World War I to help save energy. The assumption was – the more daylight from the extra hour in the evening, the less electricity and resources used…but whether it saves energy or not remains uncertain.

This is because the extra hour in the evening – starting the second Sunday of March – may lead to more air conditioning or heating in the evening and more electricity in the darker mornings. Another effect of Daylight Saving argued is the potential increase in gas because of the extra hour, but conclusions for both remain mixed.

A 2008 study by the Department of Energy found that Daylight Saving helped save energy. The national average of electricity saved during Daylight Saving time was 0.5 percent per day. The report also found that “Changes in national traffic volume and motor gasoline consumption for passenger vehicles in 2007 could not be attributed to EDST (daylight saving).”

But another study by Matthew Kotchen and Laura Grant found the exact opposite in Indiana. Previously some of Indiana did not observe daylight saving, but it 2006 that all changed. The study found a one percent increase in residential electricity from Daylight Saving. ‘That increase estimates a $9 million per year increase in electricity bills for Indiana households,’ according to the study. The report also estimates “social costs of increased pollution emissions between $1.7 to $5.5 million per year.”

Joeal Tucker is the owner of the Tick Tock Shop in Columbus. He repairs watches and clocks and would prefer if Columbus did not participate in Daylight Saving.

“Well it’d keep from having to turn the clocks up or down or whatever and get used to sleeping right, but I would like it to stay one way.”

Tucker typically does not change the clocks in his shop, but says people trying to change the clocks time from daylight saving can be problematic.

He says when some people try to adjust the time on the clock, they can some time cause major damage by trying to move the hour hand back. The solution:

“Always turn the hand forward never backwards because if you do, it’ll mess up the head on it. But if you have a pendulum clock, just stop the pendulum and let it catch up with the time and then start the pendulum back up and it’ll be right.”

Each U.S. state and territory has the right to choose to participate or ignore daylight saving. This is why most of Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands don’t have to worry about falling back or springing forward and also why they don’t have to worry about adjusting their clocks.

For everyone else, including us in Georgia in Alabama, we’ll gain back the hour on Sunday at 2 a.m., and lose it once again in March.

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