IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/14429.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Daylight Saving Time Save Energy? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Indiana

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew J. Kotchen
  • Laura E. Grant

Abstract

The history of Daylight Saving Time (DST) has been long and controversial. Throughout its implementation during World Wars I and II, the oil embargo of the 1970s, consistent practice today, and recent extensions, the primary rationale for DST has always been to promote energy conservation. Nevertheless, there is surprisingly little evidence that DST actually saves energy. This paper takes advantage of a natural experiment in the state of Indiana to provide the first empirical estimates of DST effects on electricity consumption in the United States since the mid-1970s. Focusing on residential electricity demand, we conduct the first-ever study that uses micro-data on households to estimate an overall DST effect. The dataset consists of more than 7 million observations on monthly billing data for the vast majority of households in southern Indiana for three years. Our main finding is that -- contrary to the policy's intent -- DST increases residential electricity demand. Estimates of the overall increase are approximately 1 percent, but we find that the effect is not constant throughout the DST period. DST causes the greatest increase in electricity consumption in the fall, when estimates range between 2 and 4 percent. These findings are consistent with simulation results that point to a tradeoff between reducing demand for lighting and increasing demand for heating and cooling. We estimate a cost of increased electricity bills to Indiana households of $9 million per year. We also estimate social costs of increased pollution emissions that range from $1.7 to $5.5 million per year. Finally, we argue that the effect is likely to be even stronger in other regions of the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew J. Kotchen & Laura E. Grant, 2008. "Does Daylight Saving Time Save Energy? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Indiana," NBER Working Papers 14429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14429
    Note: EEE PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14429.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Matthew J. Kotchen & Michael R. Moore & Frank Lupi & Edward S. Rutherford, 2006. "Environmental Constraints on Hydropower: An Ex Post Benefit-Cost Analysis of Dam Relicensing in Michigan," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(3), pages 384-403.
    3. J. Michael Pinegar, 2002. "Losing Sleep at the Market: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1251-1256, September.
    4. Kellogg, Ryan & Wolff, Hendrik, 2007. "Does Extending Daylight Saving Time Save Energy? Evidence from an Australian Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2704, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Shimoda, Yoshiyuki & Asahi, Takahiro & Taniguchi, Ayako & Mizuno, Minoru, 2007. "Evaluation of city-scale impact of residential energy conservation measures using the detailed end-use simulation model," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1617-1633.
    6. 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.
    7. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    8. Mark J. Kamstra & Lisa A. Kramer & Maurice D. Levi, 2002. "Losing Sleep at the Market: The Daylight Saving Anomaly: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1257-1263, September.
    9. Reiss, Peter C. & White, Matthew W., 2003. "Demand and Pricing in Electricity Markets: Evidence from San Diego During California's Energy Crisis," Research Papers 1829, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    10. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Caitlin Knowles Myers & Mark L. Pocock, 2006. "Time Zones As Cues For Coordination: Latitude, Longitude, And Letterman," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0609, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    11. Peter C. Reiss & Matthew W. White, 2003. "Demand and Pricing in Electricity Markets: Evidence from San Diego During California's Energy Crisis," NBER Working Papers 9986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    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. Jin, L. & Ziebarth, N.R., 2015. "Sleep and Human Capital: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Tomas Havranek & Dominik Herman & Zuzana Irsova, 2018. "Does Daylight Saving Save Electricity? A Meta-Analysis," The Energy Journal, , vol. 39(2), pages 35-61, March.
    4. Jin, Lawrence & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2015. "Does Daylight Saving Time Really Make Us Sick?," IZA Discussion Papers 9088, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Jonathan James, 2023. "Let there be light: Daylight saving time and road traffic collisions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 61(3), pages 523-545, July.
    6. Kudela, Peter & Havranek, Tomas & Herman, Dominik & Irsova, Zuzana, 2020. "Does daylight saving time save electricity? Evidence from Slovakia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    7. Mirza, Faisal Mehmood & Bergland, Olvar, 2011. "The impact of daylight saving time on electricity consumption: Evidence from southern Norway and Sweden," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3558-3571, June.
    8. Daniel Kuehnle & Christoph Wunder, 2016. "Using the Life Satisfaction Approach to Value Daylight Savings Time Transitions: Evidence from Britain and Germany," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 2293-2323, December.
    9. Joan Costa‐Font & Sarah Fleche & Ricardo Pagan, 2024. "The welfare effects of time reallocation: evidence from Daylight Saving Time," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 91(362), pages 547-568, April.
    10. Nicholas Rivers, 2018. "Does Daylight Savings Time Save Energy? Evidence from Ontario," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 70(2), pages 517-543, June.
    11. Felix Weinhardt, 2013. "The Importance of Time Zone Assignment: Evidence from Residential Electricity Consumption," SERC Discussion Papers serddp0126, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    12. Awad Momani, Mohammad & Yatim, Baharudin & Ali, Mohd Alauddin Mohd, 2009. "The impact of the daylight saving time on electricity consumption--A case study from Jordan," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 2042-2051, May.
    13. Andrew Worthington, 2003. "Business expectations and preferences regarding the introduction of daylight saving in Queensland," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 145, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    14. Christian Bünnings & Valentin Schiele, 2021. "Spring Forward, Don't Fall Back: The Effect of Daylight Saving Time on Road Safety," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 165-176, March.
    15. Flores, Daniel & Luna, Edgar M., 2019. "An econometric evaluation of daylight saving time in Mexico," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
    16. Joan Costa‐Font & Sarah Fleche & Ricardo Pagan, 2024. "The welfare effects of time reallocation: evidence from Daylight Saving Time," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 91(362), pages 547-568, April.
    17. Siganos, Antonios, 2019. "The daylight saving time anomaly in relation to firms targeted for mergers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 36-43.
    18. 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.
    19. Herber, Stefanie P. & Quis, Johanna Sophie & Heineck, Guido, 2017. "Does the transition into daylight saving time affect students’ performance?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 130-139.
    20. Andrew C. Worthington, 2003. "Losing Sleep At The Market: An Empirical Note On The Daylight Saving Anomaly In Australia," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 22(3), pages 85-95, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14429. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.