26 OCTOBER 2022

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Does the time change save energy?

Cambio de hora

As every year, we change the time twice: once in March and once in October. This weekend the clocks will be set back one hour: at 3:00 am it will be 2:00 am, so from this Sunday onwards it will be dawn and dusk earlier.

This is because we have traditionally been told that this measure is carried out because it saves energy. How? By concentrating more hours of sunshine when it is most needed, which is during working hours, thus reducing energy consumption by turning on the lights for considerably fewer hours in companies, which are responsible for 80% of the country’s energy consumption.

According to the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), the time change allows a 5% reduction in electricity consumption in light, but to achieve this it is necessary for consumers to behave responsibly, dispensing with artificial lighting when it is not necessary, as well as making intelligent use of electrical appliances, heating, etc.

With the change of time in October in Spain, we are returning to what is considered the country’s official time, which is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). However, is it true that we save energy by changing the time?

Many experts agree that the energy savings produced by changing the time is minimal. Although it is true that there is a difference in energy consumption thanks to the time change, there are many who think that it generates more disruption than benefits.

Since 2018, when the European Commission launched a survey of European citizens to find out their opinion on the measure, its end has been under discussion. In the survey, 84% of the 4.6 million citizens who took part were in favour of no longer changing the time.

Due to the lack of consensus between countries, this decision has been postponed for years, although it has been pointed out that the October time is the one that should be adopted as “the one most in line with factors such as health, rest, productivity and work and school performance”.

The relationship between the time change and energy saving is a topic that is increasingly being questioned, but we can achieve greater savings on our own by taking certain measures such as comparing tariffs, washing efficiently, installing a thermostat or using energy-saving light bulbs.

Find out more about energy in our blog!

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