Letter to the Editor

Company not in tune with study

Sunday, April 6, 2008

To the Editor:

A recent article in this paper referenced a study on Daylight Savings Time and energy done by the University of California-Santa Barbara.

Although Duke Energy provided data that was used in the study, we urge caution in citing its preliminary findings as definitive.

Here are a few concerns we have:

* We are not satisfied that the study properly analyzed the impact of weather conditions, the single biggest driver in electricity usage,

* The study assumed that the reduced cost of lighting in afternoons during DST is offset by higher air-conditioning costs on hot afternoons and increased heating costs on cool mornings. We have questions that about the study's attribution of these increases solely to DST, especially since most of our southern Indiana customers do not use electricity for heating,

* The study did not include energy data from industry and business, large users of electricity. Any valid study measuring energy impacts should also examine data from those energy consumers to see if there is a corresponding decrease in energy use when employees go home and businesses power down, and

* The study took its results from the southern Indiana counties it reviewed and made broad extrapolations about the entire state, a technique we have very strong concerns about.

The fact that there are other studies with contradictory results also cause us to urge caution when considering this study's preliminary findings.

Richard Stevie,

Managing Director, Customer Market Analytics,

Duke Energy