Time Is Energy (And ‘Clocks Forward’ Daylight Uses Less)
‘Daylight saving’ is a strange notion. But ‘daylight energy saving’ is a very different consideration. How we arrange the hours of light and darkness across our working day has many impacts – which makes it all the more curious that so little high profile or current research has been focused on British Summer Time and rationales for why the clocks ‘go back’ in the Winter.
My recent piece on British Summer Time has drawn a lot of comment, both on and off this website.
There are people who seem simply not to mind whether / when it’s light or dark as they go about their daily business, but there are many others who have responded quite strongly in terms of their need for as much daylight as possible. It must be very helpful in some ways not to mind how dark it is, but it’s quite incomprehensible to others that there are folk who genuinely ‘don’t mind’. Perhaps it’s rather like being ‘colour blind’ – if you don’t perceive the difference between red and green you just accept (and may not even know about) it; or maybe some of us have physiologies which are more photo-sensitive than others.
Daylight saving is energy saving
The most important thing to come out of the discussions so far, however, is not that people may have different personal preferences, but that the terms of engagement in this debate are becoming clearer.
One striking aspect of so-called ‘daylight saving’ which is emerging, alongside the prime safety considerations, is its significance not only potentially for business efficiency, but also, even more crucially, for energy. It does begin to look very much as though more ‘summertime’ would keep energy consumption down.
Where’s the evidence?
A big surprise in all this is the paucity of serious publicly available evidence other than on safety (avoidance of accidents). It seems in some respects that the last substantial governmental research in this area was conducted in 1989.
That was now seventeen years ago. Since then, it need hardy be said, much has changed.
Business and technological practices are much different from those dismal years of two decades ago. Our consciousness of the energy crisis and of ecological issues is far better developed now than it was then. The public (electorate) is now far more aware of the issues of sustainability than they could possibly have been in the 1980s.
What’s the cost-benefit of ‘daylight saving’?
So where is the cost-benefit analysis of the different ways in wihich we might distribute the eternally pre-ordained number of daylight hours we have at our disposal, summer and winter? Common sense suggests that arranging things so there’s as much daylight as possible in the hours when most people can use it is a good start.
If anybody really knows the answer, please just let us know!
The full debate about BST is in the section of this website entitled
BST: British Summer Time & ‘Daylight Saving’ (The Clocks Go Back & Forward)…..
Read the discussion of this article which follows the book E-store…
Posted on April 1, 2006, in Arts, Culture And Heritage, BST: British Summer Time And 'Daylight Saving', Education, Health And Welfare, Events And Notable Dates, Knowledge Ecology And Economy, Politics, Policies And Process, Sustainability As If People Mattered and tagged British Summer Time, Daylight saving. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.