Why is There Daylight Saving Time? | PCH.com

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Why is There Daylight Saving Time?

January 2nd, 2013 Seasonal

You probably know that in the fall you "fall back" and in the spring you "spring forward," but have you ever stopped to consider why we still perform the practice of Daylight Saving Time? Is it just so that we can enjoy longer days in the summer, or is there a pragmatic reason behind it? Believe it or not, Daylight Saving Time is not to give farmers more time in the fields.

According to Primer Magazine, although Ben Franklin and his contemporaries did introduce an early form of what we now know as DST, its current iteration didn't exist until World War I. The Germans and their allies decided to start shifting the hours of the day forward and back so that they would have an easier time conserving coal. After all, if you have an additional hour of daylight, you won't have to use as much fuel to stay warm.

In fact, we change our clocks these days for very similar reasons! According to TimeAndDate.com, back in the 1970s, Congress performed an experiment to see how much energy was actually saved. In a 10-month period in 1974 and an eight-month period in 1975, they found out that Daylight Saving Time was saving about 10,000 barrels of oil each day in energy costs.

There you have it - it turns out Daylight Saving Time isn't just an old relic of the past. It has practical applications even today.