What is ‘Daylight Saving Time’?

17 March 2022.


Daylight Saving Time (DST), also known as summertime in some countries, is a mechanism to save energy and it involves resetting the clocks.

About DST

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of advancing clocks (typically by one hour) during spring (“spring forward”) and set the clocks back by one hour in autumn (“fall back”) to return to standard time. Thus, the clock timings are changed twice a year in some countries.

Purpose of DST

  • In summer, the sun rises earlier and sets later, thus there will be more daylight hours. Thus if the clocks are advanced in the summer months, there will be more usable hours of daylight. Individuals will start their day an hour earlier and also will complete their daily work routines an hour earlier.
  • Hence, there will be longer evening daytime or an extra hour of daylight for activities, which ensures lower consumption of electricity and other forms of energy.
  • In fall or autumn, as the duration of daylight becomes shorter, clocks are set back to standard time.

Countries that follow DST

  • Currently, DST is followed by around 70 countries twice a year. In the United States, except for 2 states, all other states follow Daylight Saving Time (DST) practice and change their clock twice a year.
  • All European Union (EU) countries and many other European countries also follow the DST. Outside Europe also it is followed by countries such as Iran, Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, Cuba, the Levant, New Zealand, parts of Australia, and Haiti.

Legislation of USA

  • On March 15th, U.S. Senate passed a law (Sunshine Protection Act) to make daylight saving time (DST) permanent. This will scrap the practice of changing clocks forward and back twice a year.
  •  If this law is passed by the House of Representatives and is signed by President Joe Biden, it will come into effect from November 2023.
  • Once the law is passed, the practice of turning clocks back to standard time in November will stop and DST will be in effect throughout the year.

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