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Bringing the time forward one hour does not save energy if not accompanied by efficiency

Bringing the time forward one hour does not save energy if not accompanied by efficiency

Bringing the time forward is part of a European directive that impacts all the Member States of the Union by virtue of which in the early hours of Sunday, March 26 we must bring the clocks forward one hour to better use the sunlight in the afternoons. In other words, at two in the morning it will be three o’clock.

Directive 2000/84 / EC requires the implementation of a summer-time regime and a common schedule for the dates and times at which the timetable should start and end for all Member States. There is no possibility of derogation allowing a Member State not to apply the summer-time regime.

According to a study carried out by the European Commission, this measure has a positive impact not only on energy saving but in other sectors such as transport, communications, road safety, working conditions and lifestyles, health, tourism or leisure.

How much does it save to bring the time forward one hour?

According to IDAE estimates, the savings in lighting resulting from the time change carried out last year from March to October would have reached 5%, equivalent to about 300 million euro.

Of this amount, 90 million would be attributed to the potential of Spanish households, which translates into a saving of 6 euro per household; while the remaining 210 million euro would have been saved in tertiary buildings and industry.

Not without energy efficiency

However, in the month of October, when the IDAE released the previous figures they explained that these data “are potential, in other words, in order to reach them it is necessary to carry out a rational behavior at home dispensing with the artificial lighting when not necessary, as well as using saving technologies in illumination by taking advantage of the natural light in tertiary buildings and in industries “.

These widely used technologies consist of photocells or light sensors that shut off or adjust artificial lighting based on the natural light provided to the area through windows or skylights, they said in a statement.

In addition, regardless of the time change, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism and the IDAE recommend that citizens contribute to energy savings throughout the year by making a smart use of it at home not only in lighting but in other consumers such as air conditioning, heating, the purchase of efficient appliances, use of the car, etc.

Is it still necessary?

The time change dates back to the 1970s, when the first oil crisis occurred and some countries decided to bring their watches forward in order to take better advantage of the natural light from the sun and thus consume less electricity in lighting. But is it still necessary?

Ecologists in Action think “moving the hands of the clock twice a year does not necessarily mean saving energy. When the clock is set back one hour in autumn, companies and families (if they get up early) will need one hour less lighting. However, families will find that darkness comes an hour earlier than usual, and given that the hourly routine is maintained, they will spend that hour of illumination saved (or not saved) in the morning, in the afternoon “.

As for companies and offices that work after 6 pm, this organization publishes on its website that “they will not have saved on lighting, while many businesses open at 10 and do not save in the morning, but will require an additional hour of lighting in the afternoon, so that the time change finally harms them “.

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Madcom