OCEAN COUNTY – It’s a practice that has been around in some form for 100 years, and by simply moving the clock ahead one hour on March 12, the public will have more daylight and can conserve on energy.
“I want to remind our residents that we change to Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m. on March 12, moving our clocks forward by one hour,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, who oversees the county’s energy plan. “And while many of us may lament losing the hour’s sleep, it’s also extending daily daylight and is a prelude to spring and summer.”
More than 70 countries use Daylight Saving Time, mainly to make better use of daylight, and to conserve energy otherwise spent on artificial light, according to the website timeanddate.com.
“This is also a great time to adhere to the recommendation of change your clock, change your batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors,” Vicari said. “It’s an easy way to remember this important safety step in our homes.”
Vicari said daylight savings time is a benefit for Ocean County – a tourism county that sees its population of almost 600,000 double in the summer months.
“Longer days mean more time to enjoy all that we have to offer here in Ocean County,” said Vicari, who also serves as liaison to tourism and business development. “Our residents and visitors can enjoy evening strolls on the boardwalk, dinner on the beach, and a host of outside activities later in the day.
“In addition to saving energy more daylight is a big benefit for tourism,” he said.
Tourism is an economic engine in Ocean County providing $4.6 billion in revenue and about 70,000 jobs.
According to the timeanddate.com website, in the United States, “Fast Time” as it was called then, was first introduced in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the war effort during World War I. The initiative was sparked by Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh industrialist who had encountered the idea in the UK. Today he is often called the “Father of Daylight Saving”.
Only seven months later the seasonal time change was repealed. However, some cities, including Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York, continued to use it until President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round Daylight Saving Time in the United States in 1942.
Daylight Saving Time affects over a billion people worldwide every year. The beginning and end dates vary from one country to another, according to the website.
In NJ, like the majority of the states, Day Light Saving time will end on November 5. Traditionally, Daylight Saving Time begins the second week of March until the first Sunday in November and now follows the Energy Policy Act of 2005.