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Daylight saving time begins Sunday; bill to be introduced to make it permanent in Colorado

DENVER — It has felt like spring across the metro Denver area and along the Front Range for most of the winter. But a sure sign of spring happens Sunday when daylight saving time begins.

Clocks will spring forward one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday. It doesn’t mean there’s an extra hour of sunlight, only that sunrise and sunset will happen at later times.

Daylight saving begins on the second Sunday of March and ends the first Sunday of November.

One of the most commonly offered rationales for daylight saving time is the presumption that by extending summer daylight later into the evening, Americans would use less energy.

It was the reason Congress used in enacting daylight saving time during World War I and again after the United States joined World War II, according to author David Prerau.

But it doesn’t seem to hold true.

A 2008 U.S. Department of Energy study reported that daylight saving time reduces annual energy use by about 0.03 percent. And a study that same year from the University of California, Santa Barbara found it might even increase energy consumption.

After Indiana adopted daylight saving time statewide in 2006, researchers examined power usage statistics and found that electricity consumption there rose 1 percent overall, with a 2 percent to 4 percent increase in the fall months.

The additional power usage cost Indiana power users $9 million a year and increased pollution, to boot, the researchers found.

On Monday, a bill will be introduced in the Colorado Legislature that would make daylight saving time year-round.

Voters would have to approve the bill in the November 2018 election and it would only go into effect when other states wholly or partially in the Mountain time zone also adopt permanent daylight saving time.