There are some second thoughts tonight about that great leap forward into daylight savings time. Moving up the annual change this year was supposed to save us even more energy. But indications are that maybe we should have looked a little closer before we leaped. Changing clocks three weeks early required more than just a flick of the wrist. Millions of computers and PDAs had to be updated, enough to keep tech teams busy for weeks. But the idea seemed to make sense: more daylight, less power consumption -- or so we thought. What little change there was, it turns out, had more to do with "when" than "how much." UC Berkeley researcher Ryan Kellogg said, "If it's dark enough in the morning, the increase in morning electricity consumption is going to be so big that it offsets any benefits that we get from the extra light in the evening." Daylight saving time has come early before. It was moved and extended after the 1973 oil embargo and during World War II -- both times it helped the country conserve power. But today in our 24-7, computerized and climate-controlled world, more people are working earlier or later. Some now question the practicality not just of springing forward early, but springing forward at all. UC Berkeley researcher Hendrick Wolff said, "The conventional wisdom that DST saves electricity might not be true anymore, and our study suggests it's not true anymore." In addition to the early start, daylight saving time also ends one week later this year, meaning computer technicians will be expending even more energy -- even if Americans are not.
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