Some Americans may think that the 2009 shift to Daylight Saving Time is happening earlier than usual — and they would be right.
“If March 8 seems early, remember that the 2007 daylight saving program moved the official start date from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March,” said Mary Knapp, state climatologist for Kansas. “Since March 1 fell on a Sunday this year, March 8 marks the start of “daylight savings” in 2009 — almost a month earlier than in the past.”Obviously, the nation doesnÂ´t save any daylight as a result of the program, she said. Sunrise and sunset are still following the same pattern they have for centuries.”With Daylight Saving Time, we are shifting activities that are ruled by the clock to the hours with more daylight — thus saving energy,” said Knapp, who is in charge of the Kansas Weather Data Library, based at Kansas State University. “US Department of Energy studies show the energy savings to be about 1 percent per day.”
Some won’t “spring forward, fall back”
Not everyone likes the switch, she said. Daylight Saving Time (for the US and its territories) isn’t observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and in most of Arizona (except on the Navajo Indian Reservation).The European Union’s (EU) version of Daylight Saving Time runs from the last Sunday in March through to the last Sunday of October.
The history of Daylight Savings Time
Benjamin Franklin first suggested the idea of Daylight Savings Time in an essay titled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light,” which was first published in the Journal de Paris in April 1784. It took more than another century before England’s William Willett, suggested it again in 1907.The law dictating how Americans turn clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall is known as the Uniform Time Act of 1966. The law doesn’t require that anyone observe Daylight Saving Time, but simply states that it must be observed uniformly, if at all.
Additional information was provided by the California Energy Commission.