does daylight savings time save energy?

The clocks changed in the United States this weekend (well, in most places), and so naturally there was some discussion as to whether or not the changes implemented this year (the clocks were changed three weeks earlier than in previous years) would actually save the electricity which was the ostensible reason for the shift. Now a post on Auto Blog Green addresses the issue, and raises some very interesting issues with the plan: it seems when Americans have sunlight, they like to get in their car and go shopping.

Retail stores love daylight saving. Because when we have an hour of sunlight after work, Americans tend to go shopping. The first and most persistent lobby for daylight saving in this country was the Chamber of Commerce, because they understood that if their department stores were lit up, people would be tempted by them. In 1986, Congress gave us an extra month of daylight saving time. That's when we went from six to seven months, which is the period we've been living with recently. In that Congressional hearing, [the] golf industry alone, these are industry estimates, told Congress one additional month of daylight saving was worth 200 million dollars in sales of golf clubs and greens fees. The BBQ industry said it was worth 100 million dollars in additional sales of grills and charcoal briquettes.
So much for saving energy. Now, are any Kiwis reading this? Because I see New Zealand is thinking of following suit.
Nikki commented:
Not to mention the purchase of new strappy sandals! The shoe store was maddening over the weekend.
on Mon Mar 12 15:16:16 2007

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