Daylight Saving in GB; Is there evidence in favour of clock time on GMT?

Dr Elizabeth Garnsey

Dr Elizabeth Garnsey

Turning the clocks back each autumn has generated millions of tonnes of carbon emissions as well as increasing electricity costs during GMT months.


These are the findings of a report co-authored by Dr Elizabeth Garnsey of the IfM. "No evidence in favour of imposing Greenwich Mean Time in winter was found," says the report.  Putting the clocks back results in "more traffic accidents and higher, more costly, evening peaks in electricity consumption than would occur on GMT+1." This is because people are relatively more active in the early evening than in the early morning, with adverse effects from early evening darkness in Scotland as well as England and Wales.


The only unfavourable impact of ending the return to GMT would be on early morning workers. The report suggests that working hours could be altered for particular groups to counter this.


Consumers are paying much more for electricity as a result of ending summer time. Delaying the timing of sunset in winter would give an extra hour of light in the evening and reduce the surge of energy demand, even taking into account the later sunrise. Peaks in demand result in proportionately greater increases in cost because of the need to use reserve generating power which is less efficient and more expensive.

Date published

4 October 2007

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