Daylight Saving Time is changing this year, due to some decisions made in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time is one month and begins for most of the United States at:
2 a.m. on the Second Sunday in March
2 a.m. on the First Sunday of November
Daylight Saving is supposed to save energy and thus save money in the long run. Because less time is required to light one’s home, there is a cost savings that accumulates when you add all of the U.S. households energy together. There have been studies that have shown that we can cut the entire country’s electricity usage by one percent each day with Daylight Saving Time.
So following this logic, on August 8, 2005, George W. Bush signed the law that makes Daylight Saving Time begin 3 weeks earlier than before. So I guess that would be a 1 percent saving each day for 21 days. I don’t have the numbers but this is potentially significant.
While I think that the concept is great (and I must say that I will enjoy the extra light during the day), there are many unrecoverable costs that are also associated with this. I truly wonder how much in detail the studies went when the decision was made. In my opinion, this is Y2K all over again, but a smaller version.
At my work, we are now faced with the fact that not only do we have to update all Workstations (part of Windows and Apple updates) but also need to update other server software (Oracle, Java, Weblogic, etc.). These are development and IT costs that are not recoverable and they cannot be “billed to a client.” So, if you have a huge development and production environment, your potential hours spent could be huge. Also, if you factor in the time spent doing these updates takes away time from further developing your products/services, you are potentially losing money there as well.
Again, I’m no expert on this type of analysis (but I’m sure that someone has done the analysis already), but I’m convinced that at least this year, the costs may drastically outweigh the benefits. I will dig around to see what others have written about this and will post anything that seems relevant.
Enjoy the extra light! I will be frantically making sure that my clients are ready in the meantime.