Time Change 2018: is It the Last Time We’ll Spend Winter Time This Weekend?


Maj. March 29, 2019 at 6:38 p.m.

The 2018 time change will take place during the night of Saturday 27th October 2018 to Sunday 28th October 2018 – so it’s this weekend! The first changeover to summer time was linked in 1916 before being abolished for the first time at the end of the Second World War and then re-established on 28 March 1976. It has been debated every year since then. In a consultation organised by the European Commission millions of European Union citizens voted in favour of abolishing the time changeover – an initiative supported by the European Parliament but which has yet to be voted on.

There’s no need to beat about the bush: yes, the date of the time change in other words the switch to winter time and the extra hour of sleep that goes with it, that’s this weekend ! The changeover will take place during the night of Saturday, October 27, 2018 to Sunday, October 28, 2018: at 3:00 a.m., you will have to delay all your clocks by one hour – so it will be 2:00 a.m., and you will be able to laze an extra hour in bed on Sunday. But by the way: why do we change the time twice a year?

The transition from summer time to winter time: a long history and more debates

Originally, the “classical” time, so to speak, was winter time, so that when talking about the time change we often speak of countries that observe “summer time”.  It’s an old idea. In France, the first changeover to summer time took place on 14 June 1916, and lasted until 1945 at the end of the Second world war when it was changed back to constant time. The idea from the outset is to avoid wasting energy at a time when lighting is one of the most important items of energy consumption.

The return of the time change took place in 1976 in the wake of the 1973 oil shock. At the time, public and private lighting was still mainly based on energy-intensive incandescent lamps. However, despite the recovery, and the shift to more efficient energy devices (LED lighting, the disappearance of filament lamps and energy consumption indices for a wide variety of appliances), the time change has persisted. And was even harmonised in the European Union in the early 2000s.

Does the time change save money?

According to an ADEME study, however, the more widespread the use of energy-efficient products and appliances, the less real the benefits of the system. The agency notes that savings are still being made on lighting, but they are limited. A joint study with EDF, ADEME and the Ministry of Industry had concluded that it was possible to save 0.015% of total energy consumption in 2014 thanks to summer time. In other words, not much.

The time change is debated in terms of its supposed effects on public health, the number of accidents (the time change leads to a peak of accidents for a good week) and the costs that these changes induce. Several countries including Argentina, Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Ukraine, Egypt, Tunisia and Brazil have renounced it in recent years Then why not in France?

The European Union could repeal the time change

Perhaps we are about to take the next step, , thanks to the European Commission, which, in a consultation on the subject involving millions of EU citizens, concluded that the end of the time change is now rather popular. The proposal is supported by the European Parliament, but this does not yet mean that the case is (almost) heard. It now requires a vote of the European Parliament and the agreement of the majority of the 28 Member States.

And even if all 28 Member States were to agree, the end of the time change would be optional – although the 28 will seek to harmonise the situation in all Member States as much as possible. In the light of the consultation, it would be a question of staying with summer time.

On what date could the time change disappear?

If the European institutions and its Member States really decided to repeal the time change, it will probably be necessary to wait until 2019 – since nothing has been voted yet – to change the time change. The next changeover to daylight saving time will take place on 31 March 2019 – and this may well be the last time. And what would you prefer? Stay on daylight saving time forever, stay on daylight saving time all the time, keep changing? Share your opinion in the comments.

  • Read also:Time change in France – will your smartphone automatically advance by one hour?
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