The FINANCIAL -- As Northwest residents prepare to spring their clocks forward for daylight saving time – the annual ritual shifting an hour of daylight to prolong our Northwest summer evenings – the latest poll from PEMCO Insurance reveals that only one in five Northwest residents agree with setting our clocks ahead, with many preferring to stay on standard time year-round.
According to the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, just 21 percent of Washington and Oregon residents support the current practice of switching our clocks back and forth between daylight time and standard time.
Instead, two out of three (64 percent) would prefer to leave clocks on the same time all year. Of them, 39 percent favor standard time, which we traditionally observe from November through March, while 25 percent would prefer daylight time and the promise of later sunsets all year-round.
"We were surprised to learn more people prefer standard time than daylight time around here," said Jon Osterberg, PEMCO spokesperson. "In the Northwest, where so many share a 'green' mentality, we thought that more would be swayed by the environmental benefits of daylight time, which some say helps conserve energy that would otherwise be used for lighting homes and buildings in the evening."
But others argue that daylight time expends more energy because of increased demand for heating and cooling in areas with harsher climates. Regardless, under the Uniform Time Act of 1966, no state is currently permitted to stay on daylight time year-round without special permission from the U.S. government, though states can remain on standard time for the entire year if they pass the proper legislation.
In the Northwest, the PEMCO poll found that two out of three residents (66 percent) would support legislation mandating that clocks be set to standard time year-round. But while lawmakers in both Washington and Oregon have proposed bills that would drop daylight saving time altogether, neither state has approved the measure.
Interestingly, proponents of daylight time tend to be parents. According to the poll, 31 percent of Washington residents with children would prefer switching to daylight time year-round compared to just 19 percent of those without kids who say the same. On the flip side, 44 percent of those without kids would prefer to leave clocks on standard time all year while just 29 percent of those with kids would say the same.
Older residents also are inclined to stay on the same time throughout the year. Three-quarters (77 percent) of residents over 55 say they would prefer not to switch their clocks while 61 percent of those under 55 say the same. Presented with the choice, older residents are more likely than their younger counterparts to prefer standard time (47 percent vs. 33 percent), as well.
"As the debate continues in the Northwest, with no immediate resolution in sight, standard-time fans might want to consider vacationing in the two states that currently enjoy it year-round – Arizona and Hawaii," Osterberg added.