March 6, 2021

Are you ahead or behind? Everything you need to know about the time change – La Provincia


The dawn of this Sunday, March 29, at 2.00 the clocks will be advanced until 03.00 and will thus start daylight saving time, which will last until the last Sunday in October when winter time will recover.

With the Time change European Directive 2000/84 / EC is complied with, which continues to affect, without exception, all member states of the European Union. The first provisions for daylight saving time were adopted in Europe in 1980 and with the approval in 2000 of this community directive, the start of summer time was set on the last Sunday of March and its end at dawn on the last Sunday of October.

Although, in the whole of the EU In 2018, the proposal to eliminate the time change was raised and a process began that, although it considered suppressing this change in 2019, the then Twenty-eight considered that the initiative was premature and the decision was postponed until 2021.

Currently the time change is subject to a study in the different countries after the European Commission carried out in 2018 a public consultation in which more than 80 percent of the 4.6 million citizens who participated were in favor to end the time changes.

In Spain, a year ago the Minister council On March 22, the then government spokeswoman and Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Isabel Celaá, announced that Spain would maintain its time zone and seasonal time change while reflecting until 2021.

The time change is part of the Directive Europe 2000 / 84CE that affects all member states of the European Union with the aim of making better use of sunlight in the afternoon. Therefore, the change is mandatory and always occurs on the same dates and times across the EU, so there is no possibility that a Member State will not apply this time change.

The European Commission considers that energy consumption is not the only positive aspect but also underlines other impacts on sectors such as transport, communications, road safety, working conditions, and ways of life, health, tourism or leisure.

The time change dates back to decade of 70’s, with the first oil crisis, when some countries decided to move the clock forward to take better advantage of natural sunlight and consume less electricity in lighting.

Since 1981 it has been applied as a directive that was renewed every four years until the approval of the Ninth Directive, of the European Parliament and the Union Council, in January 2001, which establishes the change indefinitely.

In this way, this time, with Spain under the state of alarm, the citizens confined to their homes from Sunday when they go out to applaud the balcony at 20:00 to thank the work of those who are fighting on the front line against the coronavirus they will do it even with sun.

Spain is geographically located in the use GMT + 1 hour, like most of Europe except the United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal, which remain at GMT + 0. Spain, therefore, has its official time advanced by 60 minutes compared to universal time since 1940.

In the latitude of Spain the daylight hours are the same, around 10 in winter and around 14 in summer, but it does not dawn or dusk at the same time in the east as in the west. In fact, there may be even a little more than an hour difference from one point to another. For example, Vigo (Pontevedra) is the European city where it gets dark later.

What will happen in 2021?

The Time change generates a wide debate in various social groups and in recent years reports have been made that take into account not only aspects related to possible energy savings, but other issues related to the need to harmonize schedules, road safety, conditions of work and its repercussions on health, among others.

These reports coincide in pointing out that the benefits of the time change do not seem decisive. In August 2018, and at the request of the Minister council, In Spain, a Committee of Experts was created, made up of professionals from all the sectors involved, to analyze the factors for and against time change, as well as the impact that the decision to permanently adopt one of the two time alternatives would have.

The results of this analysis will be taken into account by the Government to make the decision about the time zone in Spain. For his part, the Sociological Research Center (CIS) In November of last year, it carried out a survey in which 65 percent of the participants declared that they were in favor of staying in daylight saving time.

Likewise, the Industry, Research and Energy Commission of the European Parliament He carried out a report prepared by Sven Schulze in which it is pointed out that, although seasonal time changes may produce savings, they are marginal and there is no certainty that they occur in all Member States.

Compared to those who obtain savings, the countries may be affected by an increase in energy consumption. The report also indicates that there may be savings in lighting, but that it is not so obvious that the same happens with heating, as it could even increase its consumption.

Furthermore, according to the experts, the results are difficult to interpret since they are highly influenced by external factors such as meteorology, geography and user behavior. In Spain there are no updated reports to ensure that the time change has associated energy savings.

On the other hand, the Ministry for Ecological Transition points out that the new demands for energy efficiency in lighting, in air conditioning systems and in the buildings themselves, as well as the progressive introduction of self-consumption, significantly alter the analyzes that were originally used for calculate these data.

In any case, the Institute for Diversification and Energy Savings (IDAE) encourages citizens to promote efficiency and energy savings in their domestic consumption, especially while the containment measures established in Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, are prolonged to curb the economic and social impact of the COVID-19.

For facilitate this task Remember that on the IDAE website there is a guide with practical advice and an online training platform.

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