European Parliament votes to review Daylight Savings Time

As an ardent foe of the so-called Daylight Savings Time, already practically dreading that in less than a month, suddenly the sunrise will again be almost as late as 7:30 a.m., my day was brightened by some news.

The European Parliament voted 384-153 “to review whether Daylight Saving Time is actually worth it.” Some excerpts:

The claim that setting clocks an hour ahead in spring doesn’t save energy or make societies safer is often used by Daylight Saving opponents. In the past, when lighting a home was the primary driver of electricity consumption, adjusting clocks to take advantage of late-evening sunlight might have made a dent in that consumption. But in today’s world, air conditioning and electronics are also significant portions of electricity demand, and optimizing business hours to coincide with daylight hours doesn’t significantly impact that draw of electricity.

In fact, the US added three more weeks to Daylight Saving Time in 2005, in part in the hopes of capitalizing on potential energy savings. But by 2007 that dream hadn’t panned out: people just consumed more electricity in the dark morning hours instead of in the dark evening hours.

The vote is small and preliminary step, and even the finding of “not worth it” would not directly help me in California, but it’s a start.

Daylight Savings–an idea way past its time.

9 thoughts on “European Parliament votes to review Daylight Savings Time

  1. Meanwhile, as I sit here in Florida, there is excitement about potential federal permission to permanently put a state on DST.

  2. In Portugal (with a latitude and weather similar to California), most complains about the changing of time seems to be about the return to the “natural” time in October, not against the DST.

    • Lisbon already has some ridiculously late sunrise times in the winter, for its latitude. I wonder how many people really would like sunrises almost as late as 8:00 a.m., which is what they would get if they stayed in the current time zone, but went to DST year-round. That’s about what it is in London, much farther north, on standard time in late December.

      • And I would not object so much if we did it April-October, like we used to do, or late March to late October, as in the EU. But for the past dozen years we’ve been doing it from around the 10th of March to early November.

  3. And sure enough, the Florida state House passed a measure that would make DST year-round in the state.

    A sponsor of the bill gives this justification: “moving to daylight-saving time could help the tourism industry, as people would be able to stay out later in the sunlight.”

    At least it is open that this is a sop to an interest group, and not based on any assessment of general benefits.

    Also, it is Florida, which is far enough south that the latest sunrises are not as ridiculously late as they would be in more northerly latitudes.

  4. The Daylight Savings Time is a class warfare issue. The working class tends to have to wake up earliest to report to early shfit. The managerial class wants the sun to set later so thay can play golf after work. That is really about it. That is also why you will probably see the USA make the later sunrises and sunsets permanent while other countries drop DST.

    • Interesting hypothesis, the prediction from which I hope is wrong. Or I’d really have to change countries.

      (I can hope Arizona holds out, as a non-DST state, and move there in my dotage. Also, Arizona, with its strong golf industry, kind of works against the hypothesis, doesn’t it?)

      • Consider the people of Western Australia who have rejected 4 DST referendums since 1975 and may be about to face another.

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