I won’t hold my breath, but it would be quite a thing if Indiana’s switch to Daylight Time led to the elimination of Daylight Time nationwide. Matthew Kotchen and Laura Grant, writing a column in the New York Times cite their study in Indiana for the proposition that Daylight Time should be abandoned.
Indiana’s switchover provided a unique opportunity to study the energy use effects of Daylight Time versus Standard Time:
We found that daylight time caused a 1 percent overall increase in residential electricity use, though the effect varied from month to month. The greatest increase occurred in late summer and early fall, when electricity use rose by 2 percent to 4 percent.
Daylight time costs Indiana households an average of $3.29 a year in higher electricity bills, or about $9 million for the whole state. We also calculated the health and other social costs of increased pollution emissions at $1.7 million to $5.5 million per year.
Essentially, the decreased use of lights during Daylight Time was more than offset by the use of air conditioners late into the evening. The column concludes by suggesting that eliminating daylight time would be consistent with President Obama’s goals of conserving resources, saving money, promoting energy security, and reducing climate change.