Updated: Jun 6, 2019
Enacted by the federal government in 1918, daylight saving time was initially used as a way for the country to conserve coal during World War I. Today, it comes with fierce debate, pros, cons and a renewable "bright side" proposed by National Energy Partners.
It’s that time of year when we “spring forward” into daylight saving time. Debates surrounding this practice are extensive; most notable debates address the physical effects due to lost sleep (which fuels an annual flood of articles explaining how Daylight Saving can impact our health). The advent of cell phone automation (manually adjusting the time) has all but eliminated the need to remember to set your clocks ahead. The result is it increasingly goes unnoticed for many until their Monday commute home from work (when something just doesn't seem right). These declined effects, however, have not stopped the debate around daylight saving time (DST). In fact, twenty-six states want to make DST year-round. Florida could be the first if Congress approves a new bill called the Sunshine Protection Act.
Societal responses aside, it is important to note that daylight saving time (DST) is only observed in parts of the world. It refers to a period of the year with increased daylight, as opposed to standard time (ST). Here in the Tri-State Area, the standard time period is only around 4 months leaving approximately 8 months of extended daylight in daylight saving time. With longer days in summer, the sun naturally rises earlier and sets later, and vice versa in winter.
At National Energy Partners, we prefer to look on the "bright" side of things, and ask "what are the best uses of additional sunlight?" As we throw our hat into the ring of the debate surrounding daylight saving, we have a unique angle: solar energy.
While there are various technologies associated with the production of solar energy, there is one common denominator: the sun.
Unsurprisingly, as our days get longer during daylight saving time, we experience an increase in daylight hours. The amount of electricity that solar technology produces is in direct proportion to both the amount and intensity of sunlight that is received. And daylight saving time contributes to both. Countries such as the United States, which lie in the middle latitudes, receive more solar energy in the summer not only because days are longer, but also because the sun is nearly overhead.
While the amount of sunlight is evident in longer days, the intensity of sunlight is a bit more complicated. Intensity refers to the amount of sunlight hitting the planet's surface. As sunlight filters through the atmosphere, some of the energy is reflected back into space while some are absorbed by the air. The remaining amount of solar energy to strike the surface of the earth is what refers to “intensity.” Solar intensity is determined by a wide range of factors (geographic location, time of day, local landscape, weather and season). During daylight savings time, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, resulting in increased intensity.
Want to learn more about making the most out of daylight savings, by converting your home or business to solar energy? Contact National Energy Partners for a complimentary, no-risk service consultation today!
Daylight saving time begins on Sunday at 2 a.m. local time, which means you should set your clocks ahead one hour before going to sleep on Saturday night.
About National Energy Partners:
National Energy Partners (NEP) is a solar energy development company dedicated to bringing clean, renewable energy to businesses and residential consumers alike. At the forefront of the solar energy landscape, our passion is in fostering relationships through integrity, knowledge and efficiency. NEP embraces the specific needs and challenges of each project, offering our valued clients the best experience through strategic management, trusted relationships and eco-friendly solar energy solutions.
With over 10 years of experience in the solar industry, our portfolio includes over $80 million of projects with more in development.