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El trimestre económico

versão On-line ISSN 2448-718Xversão impressa ISSN 0041-3011


HANCEVIC, Pedro  e  MARGULIS, Diego. Daylight Saving Time and Energy Consumption: The Case of Argentina. El trimestre econ [online]. 2018, vol.85, n.339, pp.515-542. ISSN 2448-718X.


Daylight saving time (DST) has been actively used as a mechanism for energy conservation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In the case of Argentina, the most recent experiences with DST occurred during the austral summer periods of 2007-2008 and 2008-2009, when the policy was finally abandoned. However, the benefits of DST and the size of the (potential) energy savings are still part of an ongoing discussion in a country where energy subsidies imply a heavy fiscal burden.


Using a difference-in-differences framework that exploits the quasi-experimental nature of the program implementation, we use hourly data for the 2005-2010 period at the province level and estimate the impact of DST on electricity consumption and on peak demand.


The application of DST increased total electricity consumption between 0.4% and 0.6%, but decreased aggregate national peak demand between 2.4% and 2.9%. In monetary terms, DST represented extra generation costs of 10.9 and 18 million USD during summers 2007-2008 and 2008-2009, respectively. Finally, the application of DST increased the emissions of air pollutants during those periods.


The rationale for DST is questionable. The policy outcomes in terms of energy consumption and energy peak demand seem to go in opposite directions, at least in the latest experience in Argentina. A case-by-case study is the safest way of proceeding, and this paper is a piece of evidence that contributes to an open debate.

Palavras-chave : daylight saving time; electricity consumption; peak demand; energy conservation; air pollution.

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