Springing forward may not help save energy, according to a study by two graduate students in Agricultural and Resource Economics.
U.S. plans to cut electricity usage by lengthening daylight saving time may backfire, the report said. Lengthening daylight saving time by several weeks was included in energy legislation passed in 2005, with the goal of saving energy equivalent to 100,000 barrels of oil a day.
Extending daylight saving time may actually result in increased electricity demand as additional usage during morning hours cancels out the reduced demand in the evening, according to the Berkeley study. The paper analyzed electricity usage in Australia, which lengthened its daylight saving time by two months while hosting the 2000 Olympics.
``There is no evidence that extending daylight saving time will lead to energy savings,'' said Hendrik Wolff, one of the study's authors, in an interview. ``Actually, there is evidence that it may lead to a little higher energy consumption.''