Extending Daylight Savings Time in the UK could be the way to stop ever rising energy prices, a Labour peer has claimed.
In a recent article from the Daily Express, Baroness Billingham has said that energy consumption by consumers would be lower throughout winter if a new system was adopted, which would help to see bills drop considerably over a number of years.
It comes after the first of the big six energy companies announced its price hike last week, causing calls for something to be done by the government to stop bills constantly rising.
SSE told customers that they will be facing an extra 8.2% on top of what they are already charged from early November.
Changed DST ‘would help lower consumption’
The claims from Baroness Billingham are backed by a number of environmental organisations, with a range of these insisting that lighter nights and longer days throughout the winter would mean lower energy consumption as a whole.
Not only would this lower what customers are paying, but it would have something of a positive effect on the environment at the same time.
She cited University of Cambridge studies which stated that there could be a “range of energy benefits for England, Scotland and Wales” if the country abandons the current system of turning back the clocks in late autumn.
The research quoted said that 500,000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide would be saved each year, and these energy savings “are approximately equivalent to that consumed by 210,000 households or 74% of the domestic electricity consumption of Glasgow in 2008.”
Baroness Billingham explained that she was reviving a bill from 2012 that never made it to the statute books after being held up in the House of Commons.
It was proposed that the clocks be changed to come more in line with the hours of daylight – they would be an hour ahead of GMT in the winter and two hours ahead in summer as a result.
“I put forward the bill because so many organisations gave me evidence to suggest it would benefit the whole of the UK,” the Labour peer told the Express Online.
“Environmental groups say it would reduce energy consumption and Age UK and SAGA say it would make older people feel safer and more able to go out in the evenings.”
Proposals backed by MPs
The proposals from the peer have also received some support from MPs who agreed that it could mark a reduction in energy consumption.
Conservative MP Tim Yeo said an extra hour of daylight each evening would help to cut the amount of gas and electricity used, significantly dropping bills as a result.
“It’s a very timely move to use that argument and the evidence is quite clear that it would work,” he added.
“The public are getting more and more in favour of it, and it’s clearly in people’s interests.”
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett also said there would be an environmental bonus, among other sizeable positives for the UK.
“There is clear evidence that bringing the clocks into closer harmony with the daylight would help reduce car crashes and cut energy use,” she concluded.