VERIFY: Does Daylight Saving Time conserve energy?

Does Daylight Saving Time conserve energy and can a state ditch DST and join another time zone?

QUESTION:

Does Daylight Saving Time conserve energy and can a state ditch DST and join another time zone?

ANSWER:

It does not save a lot with electricity costs and yes, a state can join another time zone under specific circumstances.

SOURCES:

U.S. Department of Energy, Department of Transportation

PROCESS:

So it’s that time of year again where we all look forward to staying cozy in bed as the clock fall back for the end of Daylights Savings Time.

But that doesn’t stop the rumor mill from continuing to work overtime. Our Verify team found two topics flying around online. Does Daylight saving time really cut down a bunch on energy use? And If states don't want to play along, can they ditch their time zone? Time to Verify. Starting with DST energy consumption—if you think extra sunlight will save on electricity costs, think again, that’s false. That information comes straight from the Department of Energy. A spokesperson says their most recent 2008 report to Congress shows the energy savings overall for the country are tiny, about point zero three percent compared to the rest of the year.

Massachusetts has been in the headlines recently as a commission will vote on whether the state can opt out the daylight savings time and join the Atlantic Time Zone, so are all state allowed to duck out of daylight savings time if they want and change time zones?

Our verify team headed to the Department of Transportation that handle all things time zone relate. Believe it or not there are two ways that a state or area in the U.S. can shift to different time zone, Congress enacting a law that changes the time zone or The Secretary of Transportation can regulate the time change.

Requesting to change time zones needs to be made by state or local government, depending on the area with this additional info supplied to the DOT before they can make their decision, which would be effective the next start of Daylight Saving Time.

So we can Verify - Yes, states can drop the whole idea of "springing forward" and "falling back." Right now our friends in Arizona and Hawaii are the only two not participating.

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