Daylight (and energy) saving time
Later this week, we will all “spring forward” as Daylight Saving Time returns to Oklahoma. Initially, that means moving the clocks ahead one hour (officially at 2AM on Sunday, March 10) and losing an hour of sleep. However, over the long term it means more light in the evenings and (when it finally warms up) more of us will be spending time outdoors.
However, it’s not just about longer days. It’s also about energy usage. In fact, according to energy.gov. when energy department experts studied the impact of Daylight Saving Time on energy consumption a few years back, they found it all adds up to electricity savings of 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours, or the amount of electricity used by more than 100,000 households in an entire year. Generally, these savings occurred during a three to five hour period each evening. Conversely, other studies have found that while the demand for residential lighting goes down with Daylight Saving Time, the demand for heating and cooling goes up.
No matter which study you favor, there ARE steps you can take during this time of year to curb energy usage in your home. Here are a few to consider:
- Open your curtains and allow the sunlight to help heat your homes. That “extra” hour of evening sun can help take the chill away during the cold March evenings.
- When you adjust your clocks, reverse your ceiling fans as well. During the winter months, they rotate one way and help to push the warm air down. However, springing ahead is a good time to change that rotation, so that they will draw the warm air upward during the coming summer months.
- Also, remember to adjust your thermostat to fit your daylight saving time schedule. If you plan to be outdoors longer in the evenings, you can save energy by not heating or cooling your home as much during those times.
Your friends at GRDA cannot do much to help you recover that hour of sleep you lose when “springing forward” but we do want to help you conserve a bit more energy during this time of year.
Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.
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