Brad Feld

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Comments on Daylight Saving Time from an IT Guy

Apr 08, 2007

I wrote a post on March 12th titled Daylight Savings Time is Stupid.  A bunch of people agreed with me, but some didn’t, suggesting that (a) I was missing the point and it was more fun to have light at night than in the morning or (b) the “authorities” insisted that we’d get GDP gains, (c) there would be big energy savings helping save the world, and (d) restaurants and stores would make more money due to sunny night shopping.  Oh – and I also learned DST = daylight saving time, not “savings.” 

The guy in my shop that suffered the most was our IT guy Ross who had to update – well – a bunch of stuff.  Here are his thoughts a month later.

Good thing we all went through the DST change, right?

Well according to the US Department of Energy no.  It turns out what many of us already knew has been confirmed, the DST change (Daylight Savings Time) has made no difference in national energy consumption and probably cost us more than it saved in lost productivity.

So why didn’t this work? Weren’t we supposed to have more daylight and therefore have to use less electricity?  Apparently most of the electricity we use isn’t just for our lighting anymore.  It is our computers, plasma TV’s, Xbox’s (playing Guitar Hero of course), etc.  Since we are all home the same amount of time we’re all pretty much using the same amount of energy.  Seems like a no brainer to me and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Guess what, I’m not.  According to Southern Co. Power: “We haven’t seen any measurable impact.”  New Jersey’s Public Service Enterprise Group said the same thing: “no impact” on their business.  Great, so we went through all this work for, uh, nothing?

Well I guess not nothing.  It was a good excuse to update the phone system to the latest and greatest software (which didn’t prevent issues….) and I got to spend more time in the office late at night.  The guys got to miss meetings, doctors appointments, and have to constantly verify their calendars.  I guess it wasn’t all bad, it was really easy to blame anything and everything on “that damn DST change”.  Thanks Congress – all the IT guys out there appreciate it!