Daylight Savings Time 2011
The correct terminology for this event is Daylight Saving Time by the way, not daylight savings time, for those of you whom may be interested. In 2005 in the United States, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was signed by then President, George W. Bush on August 8, 2005, and went into effect in 2007, which in effect extended the length of Daylight Saving Time by four weeks, and now begins on the second Sunday of March instead of the first Sunday in April and ends on the first Sunday in November instead of the last Sunday in October.
United States – Canada – Mexico
There are differing dates for which DST is implemented across the globe, and some regions do not observe daylight saving time at all. In the United States, Arizona and Hawaii, along with four U.S Territories, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands do not observe daylight saving time. In Canada, it is observed by most of the nation and utilizes the same dates as the US, however, in Saskatchewan, in UTC-6, or the Central Time zone, which was designated in 1966, which subsequently put this entire province on DST year round, and additionally which now makes it the center of the Mountain Standard Time line and the entire province is now within the MST or UTC-7 zone. Daylight saving time in Mexico did not change with the US changes in 2007, and has been a contentious issue in that nation and is not likely to be extended. It is referred to as the ‘Summer Schedule’ or Horario de Verano south of the border, and begins on the first Sunday of April and ends on the last Sunday of October. In December of 2009, in light of the time differences between the US and Mexican borders, the Mexican Congress granted permissions to ten northern border cities to synchronize their time with their counterparts in the US.
10 Mexican Cities That Synchronize with US DST:
Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
Anahuac, Nuevo Leon
Piedras Negras, Coahuila
Mexicali, Baja California
Tijuana, Baja California
Beginning in 2010, the state of Baja California will also switch to the extended DST schedule and observe the same dates as the United States, due to it’s close economic ties with California.
The state of Sonora does not observe DST and has not done so since 1998 due to it’s important economic ties with Arizona, USA, which also does not observe it. The Marias islands and the Revillagigedo Archipelago also do not observe it.
The Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Dominica do not observe this event, while Cuba does and begins on the Second Sunday in March and lasts until the last Sunday of October, and Greenland observes it and uses the European Summer Time convention.
Australia – New Zealand:
In Australia, currently New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and South Australia apply DST every year running from the first Sunday in October to the first Sunday in April. Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia do not observe DST at this time. In New Zealand, DST begins at 02:00 NZST on the last Sunday in September and ends at 02:00 NZST on the first Sunday in April.
All nations in Europe observe Daylight Savings Time 2011, or European Summer Time, as it is more commonly referred to there, except for the island nation of Iceland, and most of these do change times on the same date and time, typically beginning on the last Sunday in March and ending on the last Sunday in October. Prior to 1996, DST ended on the last Sunday in September except of the UK and Ireland, where it effectively ended on the fourth Sunday in October, which wasn’t always the last Sunday in the month.
For the most part, nations that are located nearer the equator do not observe DST, due to the proximity to the equator, and there is so little difference in sun exposure that it would make no difference either way.
With all the motivations and efforts brought about by this big ‘energy savings’ event, new information has come to light about our energy savings, or energy increases. It was initially thought that with the enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that it would deliver up to one percent in energy savings. A study that was done in Indiana after that state put all counties on daylight saving time in 2006 found a net decrease in energy savings, and wound up costing Indiana residents an additional 8.6 million dollars in utility costs due to the increased heating costs in the morning and increased air conditioning costs in the afternoons. When it was originally thought of, first by Benjamin Franklin with his 1784 satire ‘early to bed and early to rise’ and that the lighting costs are are reduced if the evening reduction outweighs the morning increase, and since DST’s inception on April 30, 1916 by Germany and it’s allies, whom used it to conserve coal, energy needs and technologies have changed. Another study done during the summer of 200607 in Western Australia concluded that DST increased electricity consumption during the hotter days and it decreased during the cooler days, but overall consumption rose 0.6% overall. In a U.S. Dept of Energy report released in 2008, it was concluded that the 2007 US extension of DST saved 0.5% of electricity usage during the extended period. It did not, however, include the full eight months of daylight savings, nor did it account for the usage of heating fuels. Additionally, several studies have suggested that DST increases motor fuel consumption. We will have to see how daylight savings time 2011 fares for awhile though.
Retailers, sporting goods makers, and quite a few other businesses do, however, benefit a great deal from the extra hour on sunlight in the afternoon from daylight savings time. In 1999, a study estimated that DST increases the revenue of the European Union’s leisure sector by roughly 3 percent. It can, however, adversely affect farmers and those that set their hours by the sun, and can also adversely affect prime time broadcast ratings, drive-in theaters and regular theaters alike. Changing the clocks and the rules of observance of DST also has a direct economic value and cost. For instance, the 2007 North American DST extension change for daylight saving time cost between an estimated $500 million to $1 billion US dollars.
There are a mixture of effects on health. DST may help in depression by causing people to awake earlier, but there are some whom argue the opposite of this. The primary health concern appears to be that the clock shifts disrupt sleep and it therefore suffers a reduction in its effectiveness. These effects of seasonal adaptation of the Circadian Rhythm can be quite severe and can last for weeks. In 2008 a study found that male suicide rates rise in the weeks following the spring transition, however, that relationship was greatly weakened after adjusting for the season. Another 2008 study from Sweden found that heart attacks were significantly more common in the first three weekdays following the spring forward transition, and much less common on the first weekday following the fall or autumn transition. Kazakhstan abolished DST altogether in 2005, stating that the primary reasons for doing so was due to health related complications from this event.
The U.S. Department of Transportation in 1975 correlated a 0.7% reduction in traffic fatalities during DST, which was a conservative estimate, and estimated the real reduction to be 1.5% to 2%, but the 1976 NBS review of the DOT study found no real differences in traffic fatalities. In 1995 the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimated a reduction of 1.2%, including a 5% reduction in crashes fatal to pedestrians. Others have found similar reductions. It is not clear, however, whether or not sleep disruption is a contributing factor to fatal accidents immediately after the spring clock shifts. A correlation between clock shifts and traffic accidents has been observed in North America and the UK but not in Finland or Sweden. If this effect does exist, it is far smaller than the overall reduction in traffic fatalities.
In 2009 A U.S. study on the workplace environment found that on Mondays after the switch to DST, workers sleep an average of 40 minutes less, and are injured more often and more severely at work than on other ‘normal’ calendar days.
In several nations including the USA, fire safety officials utilize DST to inform, educate, and remind citizens to use the two annual clock shifts as reminders to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, particularly in autumn, just before the start of the heating season which naturally leads to an increase in home fires. Similar twice-yearly tasks include reviewing and practicing fire escape and family disaster plans, inspecting your vehicle lights, oil changes and maintenance checks for vehicles, checking storage areas for hazardous materials, reprogramming thermostats, and seasonal vaccinations.
So, whether or not you support this observance or not, it is with us for the foreseeable future, whether or not it saves energy, and costs us millions of dollars or saves us millions of dollars, that remains to be seen. Some of us due to our locations may not be forced to observe Daylight Savings Time 2011, but most apparently are, according to the map. Anyways, whether or not you like it, Daylight Savings Time 2011 ends on Sunday, November 6, 2011 for most of us here in North America, and for our friends and neighbors across the great pond, it ends Sunday, October 30th, 2011.