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The Importance of Time Zone Assignment: Evidence from Residential Electricity Consumption

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  • Felix Weinhardt

Abstract

This paper presents the first nationwide empirical assessment of residential electricity use in response to the timing of daylight. Employing Geographical Information Systems (GIS) solar times of sunrise and sunset are calculated for all geographical locations in mainland USA. This is used to uncover the non-standard variation in sunrise times in standard local time over space, depending on time zone, daylight saving time, and geographical position within time zone. This variation is subsequently used to uncover county-level responses in residential electricity consumption to changes in sunlight. I find no robust overall effect of sunrise times, but early sunrise is associated with lower residential electricity use in the North, but higher consumption in the South. These results would suggest that additionally splitting the USA into time-zones horizontally could reduce the total annual residential electricity bill, but further research is needed to examine the behavioral channels that could give rise to these effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number serddp0126.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:serddp0126

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Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp

Related research

Keywords: time-use; time zones; daylight saving; energy consumption; GIS;

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  1. Matthew J. Kotchen & Laura E. Grant, 2011. "Does Daylight Saving Time Save Energy? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Indiana," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1172-1185, November.
  2. Lisa A. Kramer & Mark J. Kamstra & Maurice D. Levi, 2000. "Losing Sleep at the Market: The Daylight Saving Anomaly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1005-1011, September.
  3. Kellogg, Ryan & Wolff, Hendrik, 2008. "Daylight time and energy: Evidence from an Australian experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 207-220, November.
  4. Marjit, Sugata, 2007. "Trade theory and the role of time zones," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 153-160.
  5. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Caitlin Knowles Myers & Mark L. Pocock, 2008. "Cues for Timing and Coordination: Latitude, Letterman, and Longitude," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 223-246, 04.
  6. Sood Neeraj & Ghosh Arkadipta, 2007. "The Short and Long Run Effects of Daylight Saving Time on Fatal Automobile Crashes," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-22, February.
  7. Aries, Myriam B.C. & Newsham, Guy R., 2008. "Effect of daylight saving time on lighting energy use: A literature review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1858-1866, June.
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