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End of the time change, is it soon ?

The end of the time change, will it happen?

The last Sunday in October is winter time. If the time change has become a norm, it has been questioned for several years by governments and should be abandoned in Europe in 2021. Whether you have a men watch, a Ladies watch, soon you may no longer have to change the time on your watch for daylight saving time! Decryption of all this by the Charlie Paris team.

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


Since when do we have summer time and winter time?

If France adopted GMT in 1911 in 1916, the country decided to introduce "summer time", adding one hour in relation to the Greenwich time zone, in order to save energy.

The time zone will then change in 1940, to match that of Berlin during the German occupation, two hours more than Greenwich in summer, and only one hour in winter.

After the end of the 2nde World War, France regains its time zone and decides to keep its daylight saving time all year round, an hour longer 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, when the price of oil has quadrupled. By aligning the working day with the sunshine, this helped reduce electricity bills.

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


The end of the time change?

  • An obsolete device

Today many experts agree that the time change device is obsolete and no longer provides any real benefit.

In fact, with the generalization of low-consumption light bulbs, the savings achieved through the change of time are almost zero. A study carried out by EDF, ADEME and the Ministry of Industry had also concluded that in 2014 the device had only saved 0.015% of energy consumption. Not very interesting then ...

  • Negative consequences for the population

Beyond the fact that the change of time no longer has much effect on our electricity bills, it would 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 summer time would be less well experienced by our body than the transition to winter time, since during the week following the change of time, we observe on average a 5% increase in the number of 'infarction.

The change to winter time would lead to an increase in the number of road accidents. According to the Minister of the Interior, there is a 50% increase in the number of pedestrian and cyclist incidents in the 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. time slot in the week following the time change.


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


Towards the end of the time change

For all the reasons mentioned above, it has been several years now that the European Union has raised the possibility of returning to only one hour throughout the year.

However, since the withdrawal of the system must be done in all the countries of the Union, the implementation of the reform cannot be done immediately.

In the summer of 2018, following a request from the European Parliament, the Commission organized an online consultation to ask Europeans for their opinion. Result: 84% of the 4.6 million participants declared themselves in favor of stopping the time change.

In March 2019, MEPs followed the advice of European citizens and overwhelmingly voted to abandon this system.  

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

You will therefore have to choose between saying goodbye to long summer evenings or to the sunshine in the morning in winter ...

According to citizen consultationsorganized by the National Assembly in 2018 and 2019, a majority of the French would prefer to keep daylight saving time.


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