The impact of daylight saving time on technology and energy
13 Nov 2023
3 min 28 sec
What is daylight saving time?
Daylight Saving Time is a practice that involves millions of people worldwide, but its impact extends far beyond merely changing the clock. This practice, in which local time is shifted forward by one hour during the summer months, has been adopted by many countries for various purposes, including energy conservation and enhancing the quality of life. In this article, we will examine the impact of Daylight Saving Time on a technological and energy level in countries where it is adopted.
When is daylight saving time introduced and where?
After a series of suggestions, some of which were even traced back to Benjamin Franklin, it was the British building contractor William Willett who rationalised the idea, issuing a pamphlet entitled Waste of daylight in which he explained the opportunities that would be achieved by the adoption of British summer time and the consequent cost savings. It would have been enough to move the clocks forward one hour in April and return to the starting point at the end of September.
To date, less than 40% of countries in the world currently apply daylight saving time, although more than 140 nations have implemented it at least once.
Going into more detail, most of North America and Europe use daylight saving time, while it is very uncommon in Africa and Asia. In South America there is a mixed situation, where most countries (especially those close to the Equator) do not use daylight saving time while in Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay it is applied. In Oceania there is also a similar situation, where New Zealand and the southern regions of Australia use daylight saving time while the rest of the States do not.
Why did some countries introduce daylight saving time?
The primary goal of Daylight Saving Time is energy conservation. The theory is that by moving the clock forward one hour during the summer months, people will use less electricity for household lighting, as there is more natural sunlight available in the evening. This is expected to reduce the demand for electric power and, consequently, energy costs. Its adoption can have a significant impact on technological devices that rely on internal timers or time-based connections. For instance, many computers and mobile devices rely on centralized servers to synchronize the time, and Daylight Saving Time can cause confusion in these systems.
However, most modern IT infrastructures are capable of handling Daylight Saving Time adequately through the use of network servers that automatically adjust the clock to reflect the time change. This minimizes the negative impact on end-users.
What are the implications of daylight saving time on technology?
Daylight Saving Time can also influence our circadian rhythm and the use of technology in our homes. With the expansion of smart homes and connected devices, many individuals have programmed their homes to adjust lighting and heating based on the time. Daylight Saving Time may require reprogramming these devices to adapt to the new time. Mobile applications and social media play a crucial role in our daily lives, and the time change associated with Daylight Saving Time can affect how we use these technologies. For example, calendar and alarm applications may require updates to ensure that users do not miss important appointments due to the time change.
Is daylight saving time really useful?
Although the time change was initially implemented for energy conservation, its effects on energy efficiency have been a subject of debate and continue to be so. Some studies suggest that the positive impact on energy consumption is minimal or even non-existent because the benefits of reduced household lighting may be offset by increased use of air conditioning on hot summer evenings. Daylight Saving Time has a significant impact on how we live and use technology in countries where it is adopted. While it was designed to promote energy conservation, its effect on electricity demand is still a matter of debate. However, modern technology has made it easier to adapt to Daylight Saving Time, with many devices and applications automatically managing the time change. Ultimately, the adoption of Daylight Saving Time continues to influence our daily lives and our interaction with the technological world.
Energy savings and improved quality of life are the main reasons for the introduction of Daylight Saving Time. Its first appearance dates back to the First World War