Massachusetts weighs doing away with winter time shift

While potential energy savings are disputed, panelist Peter Shattuck said after Congress in 2005 extended daylight saving time by several weeks, energy consumption during that additional period decreased by 0.5 percent.

“If people don’t have to turn on the lights as early, they use less electricity,” said Shattuck, Massachusetts director for the Acadia Center, an energy and environmental advocacy group.

Read the full article from the Associated Press (reprinted in several local papers) here.

Now Beacon Hill may mess with time

Peter Shattuck, Massachusetts director of the Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group, said the federal government experimented with shifting time patterns in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The law extended daylight savings time by four weeks – three extra weeks in the spring and one week in the fall. He said a report on the experiment indicated the nation as a whole shaved electricity consumption by .5 percent and by .7 percent in New England.

“That’s a pretty big impact,” said Shattuck, noting that energy savings resulted primarily because people use more energy at night than they do in the morning. By extending daylight hours, people use less electricity, he said.

Shattuck said he wasn’t troubled by Massachusetts acting unilaterally, suggesting other New England states might follow the Bay State’s lead. “We have to start the discussion somewhere,” he said.

Read the full article from Commonwealth Magazine here.