04/09/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Daylight Savings Time Saves Money -- Or It Doesn't

U.S. Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) issued a statement yesterday declaring that they've been "vindicated" for their 2005 legislation that extended daylight savings by four weeks. From their release:

The Markey-Upton Daylight Saving Time (DST) program saved American families nearly $500 million and 2.9 million barrels of oil during the extension of the program in 2007, according to a government report.

But it's the energy claims that have received the most scrutiny. When Indiana adopted statewide daylight saving for the first time in 2006, University of California-Santa Barbara conducted an extensive study (seven million monthly meter readings across southern Indiana), and found the change cost ratepayers an extra $8.6 million in electricity bills. The key factor: the reduced cost of lighting in late afternoons was outweighed by higher air-conditioning costs on hot afternoons and higher heating costs on chilly mornings.

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