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Daylight saving time 2023: what is the reason for this change every year?

The practice of changing the clocks has not always existed but has persisted in dozens of countries since the First World War.

Horario de verano 2023: ¿Cuándo comienza y cuándo hay que cambiar los relojes este año?

It’s that time of year again. Yes, you’ll be getting one less hour in bed and you’re then going to have short-term time-zone calculation adjustments to make. The idea is more than 100 years old but still persists in around 70 countries.

Daylight saving: when did it all begin?

The first person credited with suggesting the idea of changing our clocks to take advantage of the longer summer days was Benjamin Franklin while he was living in Paris. But the man credited with getting the ball rolling was a British builder named William Willett who suggested the idea to Parliament as a way for the nation as a whole to make better use of daylight.

The system was first adopted in the US in 1918 but dropped the following year, only to be taken up again. In 1966 the act of changing the hour to take advantage of longer days in the summer months was made uniform across the US.

However, Germany was the first to implement the practice of seasonal time changes, desperate to save energy during the First World War. The policy quickly caught on with most European nations, the US and the United Kingdom along with its allies adopting the Daylight Saving Time by 1918. However, many nations got rid of the system in the years after the war only to adopt it again when there was a need to conserve energy.

Does Daylight Saving Time really conserve energy?

The Daylight saving time is credited with reducing crime, people are doing activities in the daylight so there are less opportunities for criminals, as well as saving lives and preventing traffic accidents. However, the primary reason for the twice-yearly shift comes from the energy savings it is purported to have. According to the US Department of Transportation study in 1975, the US experienced nearly a one percent daily savings on energy use during the yearly Daylight Savings Time period.

However, those findings have been contradicted by more recent analysis performed in 2006 when Indiana implemented Daylight Saving Time statewide. Researchers found that residential energy consumption actually increased by around one percent. They ventured that although less lighting is needed, the longer summer evenings caused a spike in AC usage in households throughout the state.