Why we take the time

By: by Melinda McElvaine
By: by Melinda McElvaine

Other than gaining or losing an hour of sleep, most people haven't the slightest idea why each year they fall back or spring forward.

Daylight Saving was first enacted in 1966 under the Uniform Time Act and initially began on the last Sunday of April through the last Sunday in October. The law was later amended in 1986 to begin on the first Sunday in April, and again in 2006 beginning the second Sunday in March and ending the first Sunday in November.

The main purpose of Daylight Saving is to conserve energy. Energy use and the demand for electricity were determined to be directly connected to when we go to bed and when we get up. Most people go to bed late in the evening at which time we usually turn off the lights and TV.

In the average home, 25% of electricity used is for lighting and small appliances like TVs, DVDs, and such. A good percentage of energy consumption occurs in the evening when families are home. Studies have proven that moving the clock ahead or back by an hour reduces the amount of electricity we consume on a daily basis. Although it might not seem like much on a smaller scale, when you combine the total households and families worldwide the savings could literally go through the roof. Longer summers and extended daylight encourages outdoor activities thus reducing the time you would be at home watching TV and consuming energy. A U.S. DOT poll indicated that Americans liked Daylight Saving time because it allowed them to enjoy longer sunlight evenings. Unfortunately, the winter season (November thru February) does not lend for these types of benefits since cold weather not only keeps people inside but encourages energy overload as people turn up their heaters to keep warm.


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