Saving Daylight, Saving Energy?

March 10, 2008

Yesterday marked the beginning of Daylight Saving Time here in the U.S. (with the exception of Arizona and Hawaii, of course). The debate goes ’round re: whether saving daylight actually equals saving energy — some contend that the expanded daylight hours increase energy use, not of lights, certainly, but of heating, air conditioning, personal entertainment devices (televisions, microwaves, computers), etc. Of course, assuming that longer days don’t preclude shorter nights, I’ve taken a few minutes to enact a Small change that helps save a little power:

Step 1. Uncovered the instruction manual for the timer that controls my outdoor lights, required by my homeowner bylaws to be lit in the dark hours.

Step 2. Set timer to align with the setting of the sun, i.e., 7:15 p.m., vs. 6:15 p.m.

Step 3. Enjoy a borrowed hour of sun, unillumin’d by artificial lighting.

Of course, the outdoor lights boast CFLs, so my energy savings are meager, but they are savings nonetheless. Any other suggestions for how I can take greater advantage of this extra evening hour of light?

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