How does Daylight Saving Time affect businesses?

Like it or loath it, Daylight Saving Time (DST) happens every year meaning the evenings are getting darker and we got an extra hour in bed at the end of October. For most people DST has little effect on their lives however, for businesses, the changing clocks can result in loss of profits, higher business energy costs and issues with their computer or till systems.

Here we look at the positives and negatives of Daylight Saving Time for businesses:

Positives of Daylight Saving Time on business energy use

Having an extra hour of daylight during the spring and summer months undoubtedly means that people are more likely to stay outside for longer, be that in the park, High Street, or shopping centre, giving businesses more time to attract paying customers.

The majority of businesses and retailers report increased profits during Daylight Saving Time as well as reduced energy costs as there is less need for artificial light resulting in smaller heating bills and cheaper electricity prices.

Another little known advantage of DST is that crime rates go down as most crimes are committed after dark. For example, a thief is more likely to shop lift knowing he can run down a poorly lit High Street when the clocks go back than he is knowing he’s got to run into broad daylight during DST.

Negatives of Daylight Saving Time on business energy use

When the clocks go back in the autumn most consumers batten down the hatches, preferring to shop online or limiting their store time to a few hours on a Saturday morning. Of course, the exception to this rule is the Christmas period but once the festivities are over it can seem like a long time until the clocks change again.

One thing that certainly does increase when the clocks go back is the electricity and gas consumption in businesses. The opening hours of some stores mean that they open and close in the dark and when you combine this with overcast winter days this results in a rapid rise in energy usage.

When the clocks change computers and till systems can also malfunction as a result of DST causing orders to be logged incorrectly, the wrong time to be displayed on receipts, and general inconvenience for the individuals, companies, or industries that are using them.

Plan Ahead

Make sure you plan ahead for the winter months this year by adjusting the settings on your heating controls and thermostat. Don’t fall into the trap of heating an empty building for an hour before your employees arrive, and for really impressive savings, try turning your thermostat down by just one degree. You’ll be amazed by how much energy you’ll save by reducing the amount of heat needed at a level that is barely perceptible to your staff.

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