Saving daylight and saving energy

Mar 10, 2022

Power for Progress… a weekly column from the Grand River Energy Center.

On Sunday, March 13 daylight saving time will begin in Oklahoma. As a result, we will get more sunlight into the evenings which, for many of us, translates into more time spent outdoors, in the backyard or even at the lake or river.

However, have you ever wondered what impact Daylight Saving Time has on electricity usage? While the pros and cons will continue to be debated, an article from the United States Department of Energy’s website, detailed a study from a few years back that the move forward can save as much as 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually (that is roughly the amount used by 100,000 households for an entire year). The study also showed that those electricity savings occurred during a three- to five-hour period in the evening. Conversely, other studies show the demand for residential lighting goes down, but the demand for heating and cooling goes up.

In either case, what we do know for sure is that there are steps you can take this time of year to curb energy usage in your home. Here are a few to consider:

  1. Open your curtains and allow the sunlight to help heat your homes. That “extra” hour of evening sun can help take the chill away during the cold March evenings.
  2. As you adjust your clocks, reverse your ceiling fans as well. During the winter months, they rotate one way and help to push the warm air down. However, springing ahead is a good time to change that rotation, so that they will draw the warm air upward during the coming summer months.
  3. Also, remember to adjust your thermostat to fit your daylight-saving time schedule. If you plan to be outdoors longer in the evenings, you can save energy by not heating or cooling your home as much during those times.

While we cannot do anything to help you recover the hour of sleep you lost while springing forward, these tips can help you conserve a bit more energy during this time of year.

GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees, and efficiency.