Energy Act Shifts Daylight Saving Time, Sets Appliance Standards

August 10, 2005

Here's one way to save energy: turn your lights on one hour later for a few weeks in the spring and fall. You might be picturing millions of frugal U.S. residents sitting in the dark, but Congress found an easier way to make that happen: extend Daylight Saving Time. Yes, thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, in 2007 Daylight Saving Time will start on the second Sunday in March instead of the first Sunday in April, and will end on the first Sunday in November instead of the last Sunday of October. Congress expects the change to save energy; DOE will have to study the impact of the change and report back to Congress, which reserves the right to change things back.

Another way to help consumers save energy is to set minimum energy efficiency standards for appliances and other products. The new energy act, signed by President Bush on August 8th, sets energy efficiency standards for a number of products, including dehumidifiers, distribution transformers, ceiling fans, traffic signals, illuminated exit signs, torchieres, and other products, and requires DOE to set new standards for battery chargers, vending machines, and external power supplies. The act also requires new standards for a variety of equipment for commercial use, including clothes washers, icemakers, refrigerators, freezers, and packaged air conditioning and heating equipment. California and five other states have already set standards for many of these products; a federal standard will avoid the confusion of having different product standards across the country on a state-by-state basis.

The Daylight Saving Time measure is located on pages 52 and 53 of the energy act, and the product standards run from page 79 to page 147. See the full text of the act (PDF 2.6 MB). Download Adobe Reader.