The phenomenon of adjusting the time twice a year, depending on whether we are on daylight saving (summer) time or standard (winter) time, is expected to become a thing of the past in accordance with a new EU directive. This means that this Sunday 28th October at 3am could be the last time the clocks go back from “summertime” to “wintertime” in continental Europe…
The biannual time change, which is observed by most of North America and Europe, parts of South America and Australasia and some northern African countries, was implemented to mirror the changing meteorological conditions, thereby maximising our exposure to sunlight and minimising our domestic electricity consumption.
Indeed, data analysed by the European Commission indicates that electricity usage is up to 2.5% lower during daylight saving time than if no time change were applied.
But this rationale is seemingly unconvincing. According to a survey conducted this summer, 84% of the 4.6 million Europeans in question supported the move to abolish the seasonal time change in favour of simply sticking with each nation’s corresponding time zone year-round.
Within Europe, daylight saving time was homologised by an EU directive back in 1996, meaning that clocks would go an hour forward over the last weekend in March and that the last Sunday in October officially signalled the start of so-called “wintertime”.
However, this is likely to be reversed in 2019 pending final ratification by national governments and the EU Parliament.
If, like me, you can never remember which way the clocks go, the American expression “spring forward and fall back” has been a life-saver for arriving on time to Sunday morning football matches or setting the correct alarm time so as to guarantee that extra hour in bed once a year.
However, if (or when) daylight saving becomes obsolete next year, this fun will be well and truly over… for the foreseeable future, at least.
Article source: El País in English