Bost, M. & S. GährsEffects of daylight saving time on energy consumption during summer time

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Markus Bost & Svantje Gährs

Release date:
July 2016 


Institute for ecological economic research (IÖW), Publication series 211/16

The assessment at hand compiles and evaluates recent scientific findings about the effects of daylight saving time (DST) on energy consumption. It thus allows an estimate in how far a substantial re-evaluation of the effects of DST compared to the 2007 assessment of the EU Commission is necessary. As part of the project "Effects of Daylight Saving Time", the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB) has commissioned the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) with this assessment.

The focus of the assessment is on a literature analysis, which concentrates on scientific studies published since 2007. The literature analysis has been complemented by a survey among more than 700 actors of the German energy industry in order to include any unpublished findings. Addi- tionally, model simulations for private households in Germany were conducted, focusing on the relatively new actor group of "prosumers" in the energy sector.

Results from the literature analysis show that the effects of DST on energy consumption can be both positive and negative. Their characteristics and level depend strongly on climatic, economic and cultural conditions, and they are with considerable certainty in most cases very small. Because of the manifold dependencies the studies’ results cannot be readily transferred to other countries. Relating the results of individual studies to the national electricity consumption of each country, this creates a range of results between -0.9 % (reduction of consumption) and +1 % (increase of consumption). The majority of studies estimates a reduction of consumption of less than 0.2 % of the electricity consumption or 0.03 % of the final energy consumption of a country. 

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