While the government plan is taking shape to save energy in winter and a decree is now imminent to formalize the measures, proposals arrive from many sides to contain the consumption of gas and electricity. One of these – which for several years now has reappeared cyclically in the public debate but which this year is particularly current due to the energy crisis – is do not return to solar time. According to the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (Yes but) – first Italian company dedicated to promoting the alliance between medicine and the environment – maintain daylight saving time throughout the year it would allow savings on energy consumption estimated at approximately one billion euros in the first two years aloneplus a cut of emissions from 200 thousand tons of CO2 per year.
Summer time is the convention of moving the hands of clocks forward by one hour in order to “lengthen the days”, or to have more sunlight in the late afternoon a and a little less early in the morning. In Italy, as well as in the rest of the European Union, summer time starts the last weekend of March and it lasts until the last weekend of October, when the hands are set back one hour and the so-called “solar time” starts.
Savings from summer time
According to Terna’s estimates, the company that manages the national transmission grid, in 2022 the summer time will allow a lower consumption of electricity equal to 420 million kilowatt hours in the seven months in which it will be in effect. This is the average annual requirement of 150 thousand families. Between 2004 and 2021, the data show that the lower consumption of electricity for Italy due to summer time was overall 10.5 billion kilawatt hours. A saving for the citizens of over 1.8 billion euros. In 2019, the European Parliament voted to end the seasonal clock change starting in 2021, but due to the pandemic the matter was postponed.
The idea is that moving the hands forward one hour involves an extra hour of natural light per day at a time when work activities are still in full swing. This limits the use of artificial light. Hence, in a moment of great energy crisis due to fluctuating supplies from Russia – still today an important supplier of gas for Italy despite the government’s attempts to detach itself from Moscow as soon as possible – Sima’s proposal. “Establish summer time all year roundabandoning the obsolete summer time / winter time transition, to counter the cost of energy and allow households and businesses to save on electricity and gas bills“, is what has been advanced to the government.CopyAMP code.