MANTON — Rep. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, wants to live in a world where "spring forward" and "fall back" are antiquated terms from a bygone era.
Hoitenga recently announced she is sponsoring a bill to eliminate the twice-yearly daylight saving time change in Michigan; the legislation was approved Thursday by the House Commerce and Tourism Committee and now moves to the House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration.
“Time change is a nuisance,‘ Hoitenga said. “Workers and students across our state have been hurt by it for decades. Not only is the practice antiquated, it’s also impractical and serves no real purpose. Michigan residents are ready to put an end to this frustrating daylight saving practice.‘
The bill calls for Michigan to remain in Eastern Standard Time when other states spring forward.
“I’m simply advocating for the people who have expressed their hatred for changing the time back and forth,‘ Hoitenga said. “It’s time to rid the practice of acclimating ourselves to a time change twice a year.‘
The United States established daylight saving time through the Standard Time Act of 1918 in an effort to save energy when coal was the primary fuel source.
In 2008, the Department of Energy assessed the potential effects to national energy consumption of an extended daylight saving time and found electricity saving was about 0.5% per day or 0.03% of electricity consumption over the year.
While this might not sound like a lot, it adds up to electricity savings of 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours, or the amount of electricity used by more than 100,000 households for an entire year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy website.
Other studies have examined potential health effects associated with the spring and fall daylight saving time transition and found a cumulative effect of sleep loss and increased risk for heart attacks, according to the Congressional Research Service.
The American College of Cardiology reports that a 2014 study found that heart attacks increased the Monday after clocks sprang forward and decreased the Tuesday after clocks fell back.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says It can take about one week for the body to adjust the new times for sleeping, eating, and activity.
Until they have adjusted, people can have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up at the right time. This can lead to sleep deprivation and reduction in performance, increasing the risk for mistakes including vehicle crashes.
Those who want to keep daylight saving time reportedly argue that the extended daylight in the evening promotes economic activity, including tourism.
Those against keeping daylight saving time argue that losing an hour of daylight in the morning could negatively affect golf course operations, ski resorts and kids’ morning commutes to schools.