Daylight saving time is back, that’s when we have to move our hands forward

Daylight saving time

In the 7 months in which daylight saving time will be in force, which will begin on Sunday 27 March, Italy will save over 190 million euros and will have a lower electricity consumption of approximately 420 million kilowatt-hours, which is equivalent to the average annual requirement. of about 150 thousand families. This is the estimate of Terna – the company that manages the national transmission grid – which foresees “an important environmental benefit, quantifiable in the reduction of approximately 200 thousand tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere”.In the spring-summer period, the months that mark the greatest energy savings estimated by Terna are April and October, the month that sees the return to solar time on the 30th.

“Moving the hands forward by an hour delays the use of artificial light at a time when business activities are still in full swing,” reads a statement. From 2004 to 2021, according to the analysis of the company led by Stefano Donnarumma, the lower consumption of electricity for Italy due to summertime was approximately 10.5 billion kWh and involved, in economic terms, savings for citizens of over 1.8 billion euros.

The solar time will come back into effect on Sunday 23 October 2023, and it could be the last time. The issue has been on the government table for years now. It is still difficult to decide to repeal the time change, especially in a difficult period like this characterized by substantial increases in electricity and gas prices, with bills skyrocketing also due to the war in Ukraine.

While the US is moving to make DST permanent starting in 2023,  Europe and Italy are hesitating. The US Senate has approved a bill to make daylight saving time permanent starting in 2023, to have brighter afternoons and support economic activity. The measure, called the Sunshine Protection Act, will now pass into the hands of the House of Representatives, before the final signature of President Joe Biden.  Italy has decided “not to decide”, or rather it seems reluctant to want to change this habit which has been going on for 56 years now (in our country summertime was introduced in 1966). For the moment, therefore, the situation remains unchanged, with months of solar time and others of summertime.

But let’s go back to Italy. In a few days, we will have an extra hour of light, a detail that will allow the whole country to reduce electricity consumption. The days will be longer with the darkness coming later. On the other hand, at least in the first few days, we will have to get used to sleeping less. Changing the time can sometimes cause fatigue, irritability, sleep disturbances, and stress. The possible negative influence on the mood of the time change usually wears off within a few days, with the advantages that the summertime brings with it.

At two in the morning on Sunday 27 March, daylight saving time comes into effect, which will last until next 30 October. The clocks will have to be moved forward one hour. The change will have economic and environmental benefits. In the 7 months in which it will be in force, calculates Terna, the company that manages the national transmission grid, Italy will save over 190 million euros, thanks to the lower electricity consumption of approximately 420 million kilowatt-hours.

The environmental benefit

The environmental benefit is also important, quantifiable in the reduction of about 200 thousand tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. From 2004 to 2021, according to Terna’s analysis, the lower consumption of electricity for Italy due to summertime was approximately 10.5 billion kWh and led, in economic terms, to savings for citizens of over 1.8 billion euros. The months that mark the greatest energy savings estimated by Terna are April and October. Moving the hands forward by an hour delays the use of artificial light at a time when work activities are still in full swing. In the summer months, the ‘delay’ effect in switching on the light bulbs is placed in the evening hours,

The economic benefit

The estimated economic benefit for the summertime period in 2022 is calculated considering that the cost of the average kilowatt-hour for the ‘typical domestic customer in protection’ (according to Arera data) is currently equal to approximately 46.03 euro cents. before taxes. The approximately 420 million kilowatt-hours of lower electricity consumption are equivalent to the average annual needs of approximately 150,000 households.

By aamritri

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