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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Felix Weinhardt, 2013. "The Importance of Time Zone Assignment: Evidence from Residential Electricity Consumption," SERC Discussion Papers serddp0126, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:serddp0126
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Joshua D. Angrist, 1998. "Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 249-288, March.
    5. 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.
    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. 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, April.
    8. Marjit, Sugata, 2007. "Trade theory and the role of time zones," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 153-160.
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    Cited by:

    1. Havranek, Tomas & Herman, Dominik & Irsova, Zuzana, 2016. "Does Daylight Saving Save Energy? A Meta-Analysis," MPRA Paper 74518, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Bergland, Olvar & Mirza, Faisal, 2017. "Latitudinal Effect on Energy Savings from Daylight Savings Time," Working Paper Series 08-2017, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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