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End of the time change, is it soon ?

End of change of time, is it soon? -Charlie Paris

Will the end of the time change come?

On the last Sunday of October we switch to winter time. If the time change has become a norm, it has been questioned for several years by governments and is expected to be abandoned in Europe in 2021. That you have a men's watch, for one women's watch, soon you may no longer have to change the time of your watch for the switch to daylight saving time ! Deciphering all this by the team Charlie Paris.

Between economic reasons and the well-being of the population, we return to the origins of the implementation of the change of time and its future in France.

Since when do we have a summer time and a winter time ?

If France adopts GMT time in 1911 - we were talking about it here- in 1916 the country decided to establish a «summer time", by adding one hour to the Greenwich Time Zone, in order to save energy.

The time zone then changed in 1940, to keep pace with that of Berlin during the German occupation, two hours more than Greenwich in the summer, and only one hour in the winter.

After the end of the 2nde World War II, France regains its time zone and decides to keep its daylight saving time all year round, which is 1 hour more than Greenwich.


Back in 1976 when President Valérie Giscard d'estaing decided to reinstate a winter time and a summer time. This measure is put in place during the oil shock, while the price of oil has quadrupled. By setting the working day on the sunny weather, this allowed to reduce electricity bills.

Far from lasting only the time of the oil shock, this saving measure will then be extended from 1998 to the whole of Europe. For the sake of harmonization, all countries of the European Union change their time on the same date, so that the time difference between countries always remains the same.

The end of the time change ?

  • An obsolete device

Today many experts agree that the device of time change is obsolete and no longer actually brings profit.

Indeed, with the generalization of low-power bulbs, the savings achieved through the change of time is almost zero. A study carried out by EDF, ADEME and the Ministry of industry had concluded that in 2014 the device had saved only 0.015% of energy consumption. Not interesting therefore…

  • Negative consequences for the population

Beyond the fact that the time change no longer has much effect on our electricity bills, it would, on the other hand, have a negative impact on our health, disturbing our sleep cycle. This would be especially true for the elderly and young children.

The transition to Daylight Saving Time would be less well experienced by our organization than the transition to winter time, since during the week following the change in time, there is on average a 5% increase in the number of infarcts.

The shift to winter time would lead to an increase in the number of road accidents. According to the Minister of the Interior, there was a 50% increase in the number of pedestrian and cyclist incidents on the 17h – 19h timeslot in the week following the time change.


Another consequence, more anecdotal this time : the switch to summer time would stress cows, who would prefer that milking hours be fixed…


To stop the time change

For all the reasons mentioned above, it has been several years now that the European Union has been talking about the possibility of returning to a single hour throughout the year.

However, since the withdrawal of the scheme is to take place in all EU countries, the implementation of the reform cannot be done immediately.

In the summer of 2018, following the European Parliament's request, the Commission organised an online consultation to seek their opinion from the Europeans. Result: 84% of the 4.6 million participants said they wanted to stop the time change.

In March 2019, MEPs followed the advice of European citizens and voted overwhelmingly in favour of abandoning the system.  

While the abolition of the seasonal time change will come into force across the European Union in 2021, each member country must now vote for the time it wishes to keep.

You will have to choose between saying goodbye to the long summer evenings or the sun's rays in the morning in winter...

According to the Citizen consultations organized by the National Assembly in 2018 and 2019, the French would be a majority to prefer to keep daylight saving time.


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