Florida could have an extra hour of late-day sunshine if a proposal passes that would change the state to year-round daylight savings.
State Rep. Mark Danish and Sen. Darren Soto each filed bills making the Sunshine State the first in the country to have daylight saving throughout the year.
The proposal would result in an extra hour of sunlight during the winter months since residents would not have to roll clocks back in the fall.
“It’ll be very good for the economy, it’ll also save energy by not having to use the lights so early, so it does help us,” Danish tells Preston Rudie of WTSP/10 News.
The extra hour would be a blessing to Florida’s tourist industry, Danish says, because visitors would get an extra hour of daylight at the region’s attractions.
Danish cites a 2008 Congressional report that concluded that the lengthening of daylight time saves about .5 percent of the total U.S. electricity used per day, enough to power 100,000 homes for a year.
However, opponents think any gains are offset by increased use of air conditioning.
The most difficult obstacle in passing the bill is “a new idea,” Soto told 10 News. Federal approval might be needed.
Hawaii, Arizona and Puerto Rico currently do not observe daylight saving time.
The change would take effect July 1, 2014 if approved.