Time change: Does it save energy?
Next Sunday March 28 the clocks are set one hour ahead and at 2:00 it will be 3:00. It is known as the daylight saving time change, and it is assumed that energy is saved by this movement, but is it true?
In Spain we change the time twice a year: on the last Sunday in October – the clock is turned back one hour – and on the last Sunday in March – the hands are moved forward by 60 minutes. They are known as badly called winter and summer schedules respectively and they represent a great debate in Spanish society because, it is assumed, it has advantages in energy saving, especially this time change that is about to happen next Sunday, March 28.
When did the time change start?
Benjamin Franklin was one of the great defenders of the time change and it was at the end of the 19th century that the fixed hours that we know today were established. In Spain there was no unified schedule until the 20th century and in 1918 summer time was set, but there were many discrepancies in the Civil War and also after the war. Since 1973 the hours have been continuously changed.
Is there a real energy saving?
At this point a great debate is generated. There are many voices that are raised against a time change because they do not suppose any benefit. The problem is that each country of the European Union in which this time change occurs is not analyzed one by one. In Spain, according to the Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy ( IDAE ), 5% of energy is saved. It is a low percentage but, nevertheless, This represents a saving of 300 million euros , about 6 euros per house. In some cases, this saving per household can reach up to 10 euros since having more hours of light reduces electricity consumption.
There are also benefits on a physical level since light is a source of vitamin and favors the mood of people.