Daylight saving is about to end this year, but why is it still used?

Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:
Daylight savings
Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem on

The time to set our clocks back an hour is approaching on Nov. 5, but as daylight saving time concludes for 2023, many question why we continue to use this system.

The purpose of using daylight saving is to change our clock times by an hour during certain periods of the year as to better utilize the sunlight. This practice is intended to conserve energy and reduce the use of artificial lighting.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Benjamin Franklin was credited with the idea of daylight savings in 1794, but the practice did not gain traction until the 20th century.

George Vernon Hudson, an Entomologist from New Zealand is credited with proposing the modern version of daylight saving back in 1895. Hudson pitched the idea for the annual two-hour shift in time to the Royal Society of New Zealand, acknowledging that the practice would help his hobby of bug collecting.

George Vernon Hudson. Credit: Wikipedia

Hudson was unsuccessful in his initial proposal; however, the idea became popular during World War One in Europe as the method helped conserve fuel for tanks.

While daylight saving is used throughout the United States, 19 states have attempted to pass legislature to use one permanent standard time if Congress were to allow it.

According to Reuters, lawmakers in 2022 reached a stalemate regarding the removal of the practice. A decision could not be reached between a permanent standard time or a permanent daylight-saving time.

Many people argue that the energy-saving appeal of daylight saving is negligible at best and would rather the practice be replaced by a permanent standard time system.

While it’s clear the practice is not going away anytime soon, this annual tradition has been met with either a collective groan for losing an hour of sleep or excitement for gaining the hour back.

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