You will be reminded over the next couple of days to move your clocks forward an hour beginning at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. What that means is that this coming Monday morning, your colleagues at work maybe a little less chipper than usual around the proverbial water cooler, or wherever one congregates with colleagues.
That's because unless you're attending church or some other function early Sunday, losing that hour of sleep hits most of us powerfully on Monday morning. We've had Daylight Saving on a national basis since 1966, but only in the past four years have we had an extra month of it - but the reasoning is bogus.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 declared that beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time (and that's the correct phrase, not "savings") would begin three weeks earlier, or the second Sunday in March, and last an extra week longer in the fall, or first Sunday in November.
The reason, we were told at the time, was that it would save energy, with the extra hour of natural daylight. Forgetting the fact that many people work, and must get up and turn on a light in the morning, that premise has proven to be erroneous.
The California Energy Commission studied this and concluded:
"The extension of Daylight Saving Time (DST) to March 2007 had little or no effect on energy consumption in California, according to a statistical analysis. The most likely approximation is a 0.2% decrease during these three weeks. Given the natural variation in consumption, however, the margin of electricity use change associated with early DST could have been one and a half percent of increase or decrease without such effects showing up statistically. Formally, weather- and lighting-corrected savings from DST were estimated at 0.18% with a 95% confidence interval ranging from 1.5% savings to a 1.4% increase."