Year-round daylight saving time will save more energy in India than corresponding DST or time zones

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Energy Policy, Elsevier Science, Volume 42, p.657–669 (2012)



Daylight saving time, Time zones, Year-round daylight saving time


Many countries have experimented with daylight saving time (DST) to save energy and to align human activities more closely to the daily cycle of light and darkness. Using a novel methodology, we estimate the year-round energy savings to be obtained from advancing Indian Standard Time (IST), from the introduction of DST, and from dividing the country into two time zones. We find that the option of advancing IST consistently saves more energy than the corresponding DST option, which in turn saves more energy than the corresponding time zones option. This is because the energy benefits of advancing IST accrue for the entire year throughout the country, whereas the benefits of DST are confined to summer months and the benefits of two time zones are largely in the lower energy consuming eastern region. We recommend advancing IST by half-hour to being six hours ahead of UTC. This confers the advantages of DST and time zones without their disadvantages and is forecast to save more than 2 billion kWh of electricity every year during evening peaks that are difficult to supply. While these results are India-specific, similar exercises would be useful to many other countries.


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