Energy conservation benefit will require public education |

Energy conservation benefit will require public education

Daylight-saving time starts three weeks early and ends a week later this year as part of a national energy conservation effort.

Beginning this Sunday at 2 a.m., daylight-saving will now begin the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November, adding four weeks of late sunsets to the calendar. Local energy experts say the Truckee-Tahoe area could see some conservation benefits, but don’t expect big changes in power bills.

“When you have an extra hour of sun at night people will use less lighting, and maybe even less heating,” said Scott Terrell, conservation administrator for the Truckee Donner Public Utility District.

According to the California Energy Commission, 25 percent of all the electricity used in an average home is from small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos, and a large portion of that consumption occurs during evening hours when families are home.

And starting daylight-saving time early will cut into that evening use.

Terrell said in addition to the energy benefit with lighting and electrical appliances, the Truckee-Tahoe area could reap some heating benefits in the evening.

“One of the great things about our climate is passive solar heating using the greenhouse effect,” Terrell said. “The reason Truckee (and Tahoe) are special is one, it’s cold and we like free heat; and two, we have so many cloudless days that we get the sunlight for passive solar heating.”

Local energy expert Robert Mowris, of Robert Mowris and Associates said the energy savings won’t be automatic, and will require public education.

While people will leave their household lights off longer with later sunlight, exterior lights on timers may not get switched, he said.

“For example, Squaw Valley for night skiing turns the lights on before dark, so if they turned their lights on two hours later that would save quite a bit of energy,” Mowris said.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Truckee Sanitary District celebrates Brooks retirement


The Truckee Sanitary District is proud to announce the retirement of Cleveland “Herb” Brooks. A Collection Systems Maintenance Worker for the District for the past 20 years, Brook’s last day was Tuesday, May 4. He…

See more