Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Is Daylight Savings Time Energy Efficient?

The practice of Daylight Savings Time (DST) requires setting clocks forward one hour from Standard Time during the summer months, and back again in the fall to efficiently utilize natural daylight.

Forward or Backward?    

The saying, “spring ahead, fall back” will help remind you how to adjust your clocks. DST starts in the spring, so you lose one hour. During the fall, you will set your clocks back one hour to regain that time. To see when clocks will change for DST in the future, click here.

Why Does DST Exist?

70 countries use DST because:

. Greater use of natural daylight.
. Conserving energy that goes into artificial lighting.
. Decrease the amount of accidents on the road so they’re lit during high traffic times.

Does DST Save Energy?

Since its conception in Germany during World War I, DST has been linked to saving energy, but there’s still controversy as to whether or not this theory remains valid. In 2008 the U.S. Department of Energy study claimed that daylight saving time reduces annual energy use by 0.03%. DST is also linked to reduced accidents on the road, and robberies according to the, Brookings Institution. 

A joint study between Transport Research Laboratory and University College of London predicted that fewer people would be injured or killed in road accidents if there was one hour of daylight that was transferred from the morning, to the afternoon. During the winter, the demand for electricity and gas skyrockets, therefore countries like the United States, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, and other regions of the world follow DST to conserve energy.

Arguments against DST states that it’s dangerous for people leaving their homes when it’s dark, and other studies found that there’s an increase in heart attacks when setting your clock forward one hour in the spring. Regardless, adjusting your energy usage during DST is important so you don’t see an unexpected spike in your energy bills this winter. 

To learn more on how to conserve energy, the Energy Experts recommend the following blogs:

How To: Deep-Frying Turkey Outdoors

Facing many obstacles during the holiday season is common, and one of the largest is preparing dinner. Serving turkey has been an American tradition for decades, but how American’s are cooking their turkey is becoming more experimental. 

While experimenting with different techniques can be fun and delicious, it can also be extremely hazardous. According to the National Fire Protection and Fox News, “each year fires caused by deep-fryers are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes, and exceeding $15-million in property damage.”

So you don’t burn down the garage and resort to ordering pizza, here is how you can safely deep-fry your turkey.

Total Time: 10 hr
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 9 hr
Cook: 45 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Advanced

. 6 quarts hot water
. 1-pound kosher salt
. 1-pound dark brown sugar
. 5 pounds ice
. 1 (13 to 14-pound) turkey, with giblets removed
. Approximately 4 to 4 ½ gallons peanut oil

*Cooks Note: So you have the most accurate amount of oil, place the turkey into the pot you’re going to fry it in, add water until it almost covers the top of the turkey, and is at least 4 to 5 inches below the top of the pot. This amount will be how much oil you will use for frying the turkey.

  1. Using a 5-gallon upright drink cooler, place the hot water, kosher salt, and brown sugar inside and stir slowly until salt and sugar completely dissolve.
  2. Add the ice and stir until the mixture becomes cool.
  3. Slowly and gently lower the turkey into the container so it’s completely immersed in the brine. If not fully immersed, weigh down the turkey.
  4. Cover and place in a cool dry area for 8 to 16 hours.
  5. Next, remove the bird from the brine, rinse, and dry.
  6. For the next 30 minutes, allow the turkey to sit in room temperature prior to cooking.
  7. In a 28 to 30-quart pot, pour in the oil and set over high heat on an outside propane burner.     
  8. Proceed by bringing the oil temperature to approximately, 250 degrees F.
  9. Once your oil’s temperature has reached 250 degrees F, slowly lower the turkey into the oil and raise the temperature to 350 degrees F.
  10. After the bird has been submerged for 35 minutes, use a probe thermometer to check the temperature.
  11. Let the breast of the turkey reach 151 degrees F, then slowly remove the bird from the oil and allow to rest for 30 minutes’ minimum before carving.
  12. The turkey will reach an internal temperature of 161 degrees F because of carry over cooking, so don’t be alarmed.
  13. Once cooled, you’re now ready to carve and enjoy your deep-fried turkey.

The Energy Experts

Each month The Energy Experts present a blog that shares helpful information on a wide-rage of topics that involves the intersection of home and health. Are you concerned about energy savings, indoor air quality, home comfort, and family health issues? Then check in with The Energy Experts each month for more valuable information on these crucial topics.