Vermont Employers Find Benefit in Planned Daylight Savings Time Shift

first_imgEarlier this month President Bush signed the 1,745-page federal energy bill into law. One part of the law extends daylight savings time by a month. Starting in 2007, Americans will turn the clocks ahead three weeks earlier in the spring (around the end of the first week in March), and we will turn the clocks back one week later in the fall (around the end of the first week in November).The Vermont Chamber of Commerce surveyed member businesses for a seven-day period in mid-August to gauge Vermont business reaction to this anticipated change. The survey captured nearly 200 responses from businesses engaged in many different sectors. The majority (51%) of respondents are engaged in the travel and tourism industry, while another quarter represents the services/professional sector.A full 43% of Vermonts employers felt that their businesses will use less energy because of the extension of daylight savings time, although several bed & breakfast owners noted that they will likely use more energy because they will be preparing breakfast in springs darker early daytime hours. However, only 24% thought that having more daylight will save their businesses money in terms of employee productivity and other factors. Aside from ski areas and other recreation facilities, the great majority (94%) of the total respondents did not believe that they will change the hours that they are open for business. The majority of businesses were in favor of the shift. Comments from supporters of extended daylight savings highlighted a number of interesting perceptions, some of which include: skiers and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts will have an extra hour of daylight for most of March; it will be beneficial to have drivers making sales calls in longer daylight hours as well as make for a safer commute home; and an extra hour of daylight at the close of the day, at the tail end of winter, will have a positive physical and psychological impact on individuals. One bed & breakfast owner stated that their guests will experience a true sunrise over the mountains, and one farm noted that they can extend the hours of their carriage rides. In general, several businesses mentioned that longer daylight hours may provide an incentive for more travelers to visit the state during the traditionally low-traffic shoulder seasons.Employers who did not support the extension of daylight savings time were in the minority. A radio station reported that during the portion of the year that is under daylight savings time they are not able to use their enhanced wattage, which will negatively impact both their business revenue and listeners. Others believed that the change would have little or no impact, and that federal efforts to this end were not a productive use of time in light of more pressing national and global issues.###last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *