Does Daylight Saving Time Conserve Energy?

The beginning of spring marks the age-old practise of pushing our clocks forward – meaning we’ll lose an hour’s sleep but gain an extra hour’s sunlight (a good or bad thing depending on your priorities!). The conversation around daylight savings has been a contentious topic in recent years, especially as efforts have increased to reduce and eventually annul the UK’s carbon emissions. So, let’s explore the intentions behind DST and how best we can save energy during it.

DST: a brief history

First proposed by British builder William Willett in 1905, the practise of pushing our clocks forward to make use of longer daylight hours was adopted in 1916 as part of a global effort to conserve energy and increase work production during World War I. The concept was simple: if you have an extra hour of sunlight, you’re less likely to use artificial lights – thus saving energy. Of course, the early 1900s didn’t have computers, smartphones, and modern cars to contend with, so after a century since DST’s inception, the way we use energy is a far cry from its origin.

Energy savings & DST: what’s the verdict?

DST has proven divisive in the 21st century as studies have found that it not only affects the economy due to decreased productivity and the costs attributed to maintaining times on smart devices, but it also doesn’t save energy like initially proposed.

One of the main reasons energy usage spikes when daylight saving time begins is due to people waking up during the coldest, darkest part of the day and therefore cranking up the heat to stay warm. As most homes rely on central heating, there’s no way to avoid heating entire floors – or in a lot of cases, the whole house – which leads to a huge waste of energy.

Electric heating: how to save energy during DST

Switching from gas to electric heating is one of the best ways to save energy during DST, and the reason is simple: electric heating is 100% efficient, meaning every watt of energy is converted into usable heat. Up to 50% of warmth can be lost through pipework with central heating, so you end up paying for energy that’s already gone to waste.

But there’s more to saving energy than just making the switch. Here are our top three tips on how best to utilise your electric heating during the next daylight savings:

1. Program your radiators individually

As central heating predominantly uses heat generated from a central point in the home, all units must work together to distribute warmth. Electric radiators are not restricted to one system and therefore act as their own individual unit, which means they can be managed separately, with unique temperature settings and schedules. As spring comes around, full home heating is no longer required, so programming your radiators is one of the most useful ways to save energy.

  • Precision digital thermostat – An integrated thermostat that enables the radiator to maintain its heat without fluctuating. By monitoring the temperature of the room, it will proactively cut power or increase the heat to ensure it remains at your specified level – this ensures your energy usage is at the minimum necessary to maintain comfortable warmth.
  • Weekly programming – Set up a personalised schedule to suit your routine and adjust it at any time. Essential to conserving energy – prioritise rooms more frequently occupied down to the individual minute.

2. Invest in smart heating

Smart heating works like any other smart technology: by using artificial intelligence it allows us to control our system like never before. Manage your heating through an app on your smartphone or enable motion-sensor mode to do the hard work for you.

  • WiFi app control – Pair one or all of your radiators to a sophisticated heating app like the Ecostrad Ecosystem for optimal control. Offering an intuitive interface that’s easy to use, you can adjust your heating from anywhere in the world.
  • Motion and voice control – Some radiators are capable of turning themselves on and off by using motion sensors to detect movement. Many can also be paired with Amazon Alexa or Google Home, allowing you to manage your heating without lifting a finger.
  • Energy usage statistics – Check your exact energy levels to identify over-consumption – a sure-fire way to increase efficiency and reduce running costs.
  • Other energy-saving features – Take advantage of an extended wealth of options that will also keep your heating bills down such as open window detection and anti-frost mode.

3. Pair with a renewable energy source

15% of the UK’s total carbon emissions come from the energy we use on central heating – a staggering statistic and one that needs to change if the country is to reach net zero by 2050. The great news is that you can make your electric heating carbon free by pairing it with a renewable energy source.

  • Use solar/wind power – If you have the means, you can make your heating totally self-sufficient by installing solar panels or domestic wind turbines. Both can be costly to install and not every home is suitable, but doing so will cut down your bills considerably and ensure you’re only using clean electricity.
  • Switch to a green energy supplier – A green energy supplier replaces the electricity you use with renewables and feeds it back into the National Grid, so changing your tariff to 100% renewable energy is an easy way to enjoy the benefits of carbon free heating whilst the supplier does all the legwork. As electric heating has grown in popularity over the last decade, there are more providers than ever to choose from to suit your budget.

Save with electric

Whether you’re looking for a green-alternative, considering an upgrade, or interested in keeping running costs down – electric heating can do all that and more. So, the next time the clocks change, discover just how much energy you can save with Electric Radiators Direct.


Special Offer