Chile changes DST, and Daylight Saving Time costs Indiana $8.6M per year according to one study… as much as $400M across the US

Chile changes their DST dates to save energy, but one professor and grad student found that it costs rather than saves money in the US.


Once again, we have changes in South America, this time in the Republic of Chile, as noted here on the TZ and DST blog, Chile announces an extension on their Daylight Saving Time for 2008.

The government announced in February that their current observance of daylight saving time will be extended in order to save energy.

Interesting, especially with all the news this week that DST doesn’t necessarily save energy… particularly this report yesterday on NPR…  

“A study conducted in Indiana concluded that Daylight Saving Time uses more energy than it conserves. Matthew Kotchen, an economics professor who worked on the study, talks with Melissa Block about what researchers learned.” [Listen Now, 4 min 14 sec]

As noted in the New York Times here, Mr. Kotchen (an economics professor at UC Santa Barbara) along with Laura Grant (a doctoral student) took the time to leaf through 7,000,000 electric bills from customers in Indiana over the last three years. I heard in the interview on NPR that Kotchen and Grant found that overall, Hoosiers spent on average about $3.73 per household per year more on energy due to daylight saving time… that may not sound like much — just a gallon of gas at today’s rate, but taken across the state… 

“Against intuition and contrary to the entire point of government policy, the study found that daylight saving time resulted in an $8.6 million increase in spending on residential electricity.”


Now, I’m no economist… but if you assume 2.3 million households in Indiana, on a national level in the States (from my back-of-the-envelope estimate) that’s $392.6 million dollar cost per year.  This assumes a straight line estimate based on the Indiana information (see this info on Indiana Population from 2002) across 105M households in the US (according to the Households and Families info in the 2000 US Census).  I’m sure that the actual number would vary based on energy consumption in different parts of the country at different times of the year.  

But nearly $400 million is a chunk of change… and that’s just for energy.

Back to Chile (pronounced cheel-ahy, rather than the pronunciation noted on…

The new fall back date for the daylight saving period of 2007-2008 is:

Daylight saving time ends:  Last Saturday of March at 11:59:59PM

Information is available via our Chilean web site at, “Extension del horario de Verano en Chile”.  Customers and partners will find additional information on this change and manual remediation at

The default configuration for the time zone “(GMT-04:00) Santiago” in Windows Operating Systems does not reflect the new final date for the daylight saving time defined by the government.  This bulletin summarizes the actions recommended for customers in Chile to address the extension of daylight saving time and mitigate its impacts.

Tags: Microsoft, Indiana, Chile, Matthew Kotchen, Daylight Saving Time, Daylight Savings Time, RSS, DST. 3,530,000 (down a million items); 6,950,000; 649,000+

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