February 2, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Time change: why it has not been canceled, and when to move the clock hands

At 04:00 am on Sunday October 30th we will turn our clocks back one hour and the hands will show 03:00.

Once again, our clocks will be set to “winter time” as Europe once again “froze” the abolition of a measure that would lead to the permanent preservation of summer time. The debate on the abolition of the time change measure began in 2018, when the European Commission submitted a proposal to the European Parliament on 12 September.

The Commission made this proposal because “the system of six-month time changes is increasingly questioned by citizens, the European Parliament and a growing number of Member States. Thus, the commission analyzed the available data, which shows that it is important to have synchronized rules EU in this area to ensure the smooth functioning of the internal market. The viewpoint is also supported by the European Parliament as well as other actors (eg in the transport sector).

The commission also held a public consultation, during which about 4.6 million responses were received, of which 84% were in favor of eliminating the six-month time changes, and 16% were in favor of maintaining them. As a result of the consultation, a report was drawn up.

Time change and energy crisis

On March 26, 2019, the European Parliament approved its position on the commission’s proposal, speaking for the abolition of seasonal changes in timebut postponed the decision of Member States for two years, until 2021.

However, a number of bureaucratic problems, such as Brexit, the pandemic, and now the war in Ukraine and the consequences it had on the European continent due to rising energy prices, led to the suspension of the implementation of the decision. The connection of the debate about the abolition of the measure with the energy crisis and the expediency of this is now under the “microscope” of experts who are preparing studies on this topic.

Some experts argue that permanent daylight savings can result in energy savings. However, other studies refute this claim. According to Minister of Environment and Energy Kostas Skrekas, “there is no evidence yet that maintaining daylight saving time can help reduce (energy) consumption. So we keep changing the time.”

When we change our clocks to winter time this year

Every October, on the last Sunday of the month, the time changes. So again this year at dawn on October 30th we will turn the clock back one hour. At 4 am, non-digital clocks need to be set back to 03:00, and digital clocks and smart devices will change the time on their own.

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