Spring forward, Fall back – time for the clocks to change

by Lorraine Williamson
Spring forward

In the early hours of the last Sunday of March each year, Spain, along with many other countries will change their clocks. But do they spring one hour forward, or fall one hour back?

Although there is an hour time difference between the UK/Canary Islands and mainland Spain, we all will adjust the time by one hour forward on March 26.  This happens overnight between Saturday and Sunday.

In Spring, the clocks go forward, but in Autumn, they go back an hour (Spring forward, Fall back). So, at 2.00 am (1.00 am in the UK/Canaries), the clocks change and become 3.00 am (2.00 am in the UK/Canaries). Effectively this means we lose an hour´s sleep.

Therefore, from tomorrow, the days will feel longer and the nights will start to get lighter. This heralds the start of Spring 

Daylight savings time

Over recent years there has been much debate as to whether the clock changes in March and October should be stopped. However, so far, there has been no agreement reached. There had been discussions that 2021 was to be the last year of clock changing. But with the pandemic and Brexit, it was thought the focus of the various governments should be elsewhere. Therefore, it was decided to be revisited at another time. Consequently, each time you change the time, it could be the last.

The farmers

The story that daylight savings time (DST) was created to help farmers. But is that true? The farmer´s day is dictated by the sun and not by the clock. Their livestock does not understand the changes in routine caused by the clock change.

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain

Energy savings

Another possible reason for the time changes was to save energy. However, an article by electricity supplier, Endesa, states there are no reliable studies that show that doing this leads to a significant saving.

The debate

The European Commission conducted an online survey in 2018.  It received over 4.5 million responses from (at that time) all 28 member states. A massive 84% of respondents said they did not want to continue with the clock changes. However, the majority of voters (based on participation rate/population) came from German at 3.79%, followed by Austria at 2.94%, and in third place, Luxembourg at 1.78%. All other countries were under 1%. At the other end of the scale, Italy, Romania and the UK were even less than 0.05%. Spain had 0.19% of the vote.

Furthermore, although it might sound like a simple solution, just to stop moving the clocks, there are other issues to take into account. Firstly, what time should be the correct time? Also, some countries voted to stay on permanent “summer” time, whereas others preferred the “winter” time schedule.

Spring Forward

However, regardless of the ongoing debate, one thing is sure! You must remember to change some of your clocks or watches. Most will do it automatically, but some may not.

Also, you may wish to contribute to energy saving and support WWF tonight and switch off between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm for #EarthHour.

Also read: Earth Hour 2023

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