You know the phrase: it’s time to spring forward! And this weekend we get to, well, spring forward by moving our clocks ahead an hour.
But why do we do it?
Put simply, Daylight Saving Time (DST) makes better use of the long sunlight hours of the summer. By moving clocks forward an hour, we basically just move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.
According to this really interesting article from Wonderopolis: The idea was first suggested in an essay by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. It was later proposed to British Parliament by Englishman William Willett 1907. However, it did not become a standard practice in the United States until 1966. Daylight Saving Time was originally instituted in the United States during World War I and World War II in order to take advantage of longer daylight hours and save energy for the war production.
Not only do we get an additional hour of daylight, DST actually helps conserve energy. According to a 2008 Department of Energy study, the total electricity savings of DST were about 1.3 Tera Watt-hour (TWh). This corresponds to 0.5 percent per each day of DST, or 0.03 percent of electricity consumption over the year.