Daylight Savings Time

March 7, 2008

A paper on daylight savings time written by Bren Assistant Professor Matthew Kotchen and Bren PhD student Laura Grant has created a torrent of media coverage since the Wall Street Journal ran a story about it on February 27. The study, which Kotchen presented at the National Bureau of Economic Research earlier in February, tested decades-old conventional wisdom that daylight savings time saves energy and found that, in fact, it increase energy use between 1 and  4 percent.

Kotchen and Grant conducted their study in Indiana, which created an almost ideal, yet unintended, real-world experiment. Until two years ago, only 15 of Indiana’s 92 counties “sprang forward” and “fell back” each year. The rest remained on standard time year round. In 2006, however, the Indiana state legislature passed a law mandating that the whole state adopt daylight savings time consistent with the rest of the United States. Working with Duke Energy Corp, the researchers were able to obtain more than 7 million meter readings for residential electricity use in Indiana before and after the change. After crunching the numbers, they concluded that daylight savings time had added an extra $8.6 million to residents’ electricity bills. What is more, they estimate that the social costs of increased pollution emissions in Indiana range from $1.6 to $5.3 million per year.

Since then, and with daylight savings time set to start Sunday morning, March 9, Kotchen and Grant have been deluged by reporters from around the nation and beyond, seeking to interview them about their findings. In the past week they have given more than 100 interviews to print, radio, and television reporters.

Following is a partial list of interviews, completed or scheduled, with air times television reports included if they are known at this time.

ABC News, Good Morning America (TBA)
ABC 20/20 (TBA)
CBS, Sunday Morning (Sunday, March 9). Click on "Fast Draw"
National Public Radio, All Things Considered (March 7 )
MSNBC
NBC News (On NBC affiliates Friday April 7 during evening news broadcasts or on morning or evening broadcasts Saturday, April 8))
NBC, Today Show (Saturday morning; check local listings)
New York Times
Public Radio International, Fair Game (March 7, 8 pm)
USA Today
Yahoo! News featured story

The Wall Street Journal story can be found at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120406767043794825.html

For links to other print stories, go to:

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=kotchen&ie=UTF-8&scoring=d

The original research paper can be found at:

http://www2.bren.ucsb.edu/~kotchen/links/DSTpaper.pdf