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Daylight saving time all year round? The latest news in Italy

idealista logo idealista 9/29/2022 redaction
Daylight saving time in Italy © Provided by idealista Daylight saving time in Italy

Daylight saving time is a convention adopted by most European countries to save energy. The usefulness of moving the hands of the clock forward by one hour has been questioned since 2018, when the European Commission asked the citizens of the member states whether they wanted to abolish the convention permanently. Let's take a look at the reasons behind the daylight saving time debate and find out what the latest news on the subject is in Italy. How does daylight savings work in Italy Could it be time for daylight saving time all year round? 

 
  1. What is daylight saving time and what is it for?
  2. The European debate on the time change
  3. Daylight saving time: advantages and disadvantages in Italy
  4. Italy's decision on year-round summer time: changes in 2022
  5. When will the time change in Italy in 2022?
  6. How does daylight saving time and standard time work?
  7. Which countries don't change to daylight saving time?

What is daylight saving time and what is it for?

Daylight saving time is a convention of moving the hands of a state's clocks forward by one hour in the spring season in order to save energy during the summer. The adoption of the new time makes it possible to make better use of natural light in the late afternoon and to postpone the switching on of artificial lighting, thus saving electricity. Standard time, on the other hand, is the 'natural' time in force in the state during the winter period. Every year, in the autumn period, most countries in North America and Europe move their clocks back one hour to standard time.

The European debate on the time change

The debate on the time change, which is still going on in the European Union, has arisen because, while in southern countries, such as Italy, daylight saving time brings real benefits in terms of energy savings and 'lengthening' the days, in northern European countries, such as Finland, Sweden and Estonia, the benefits related to the greater use of daylight are practically non-existent.

In 2018, the European Commission decided to poll the opinion of citizens in the EU area on the possible abolition of the time change. More specifically, the online public consultation asked European citizens to choose between keeping daylight saving time all year round or standard time. Thanks to the survey, the European authorities were able to ascertain that 84% of respondents were in favour of abolishing the switch.

In response to the consultation, in 2019, the European Parliament passed a legislative resolution stipulating the abolition of the time change as of 2021, postponing the decision on the time to be adopted permanently - daylight saving or standard time - to the authorities of the Member States.

Daylight saving time: advantages and disadvantages in Italy

The advantages of adopting daylight saving time in Italy are quite obvious: in 2022 alone, it is estimated that the Italian state saved around 190 million euros. During the months in which Daylight Saving Time 2022 was in force, 420 million kilowatt hours of electricity were saved, i.e. the expenditure of the average annual needs of about 150 thousand households. The adoption of summer time also brings benefits for the environment, as it reduces the normal CO2 emissions due to the use of electricity by tonnes.

Daylight saving time is associated not only with energy, environmental and economic benefits, but the time change also comes with certain disadvantages, which should be taken into account. Some studies have identified negative impacts on the human body's circadian rhythm, in particular the sleep-wake rhythm. The time change, therefore, would lead individuals to feel more tired and distracted, and its eventual abolition could have positive impacts on the body.

Italy's decision on year-round summer time: changes in 2022

Does Italy go on daylight savings time? On the basis of the benefits seen during 2022 and in light of the measures taken at European level, the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (SIMA) asked the government to maintain daylight saving time all year round. The reasons for the request were identified in the concrete possibility of obviating the problem of high utility bills through the savings obtained in the summer period thanks to the adoption of summer time.

The Minister for Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, spoke out against the definitive abolition of this so-called "summer time". According to the MP, the benefits in terms of energy consumption, although effective, do not constitute a "miracle" compared to the savings of electricity and are therefore limited. To confirm his thesis, Cingolani showed studies carried out on daylight saving time, which show that there are no particular advantages to maintaining daylight saving time all year round. Abolishing daylight saving time once and for all would mean that Italians would have to wake up in the dark.

The Minister for Ecological Transition expressed the desire for unanimity and uniformity of decision-making throughout the EU territory, since the abolition of summer time would lead to major problems at the border. In other words, Cingolani believes that the entire territory of the European Union should choose a single model to follow, daylight saving time all year round or standard time, in order to make the decision of the European Parliament enforceable. However, in the event of a tightening of the energy price, the Minister said that the SIMA request should not be set aside completely, since it could bring benefits, albeit minimal. So, for the time being, the time change in Italy has not been abolished.

In light of what has been said, the time change rules in 2022 will remain unchanged and Italy will return to daylight saving time on the night of 29-30th October at 3am. The next changeover to daylight saving time (in 2023), on the other hand, will take place on the night of 26th March.

When will the time change in Italy in 2022?

On the night of 29th October and 30th October 2022, at 3:00 a.m., the changeover from daylight saving time to standard time will take place. It will be necessary to move the hands of the clock back an hour in order to gain more light in the morning and an extra hour of sleep.

How does daylight saving time and standard time work?

Daylight saving time is the time adopted by a state to make the most of sunlight during the summer season and is, therefore, a convention that is achieved by moving the hands of the clock forward one hour. Standard time, on the other hand, is established astronomically by the movement of the Sun and is therefore often known as "natural" or "solar" time.

Which countries don't change to daylight saving time?

The European countries that have decided not to adopt daylight saving time are Iceland, Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Belarus. In South America, most countries do not adopt daylight saving time, with the exception of Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and the southern regions of Brazil. In Oceania, New Zealand and the southern regions of Australia use daylight saving time, while the remainder do not change the time. Bangladesh, China, India and Hong Kong experimented with daylight saving time for a period of time and then reverted to permanent time.

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