“Do we go forward or go back an hour?”. Twice a year, this question comes up on the table as the time change approaches. This year again, the arrival of autumn is synonymous with the transition to winter time.
On the night of Saturday October 29 to Sunday October 30, 2022, we will go back one hour. More precisely, at three o’clock in the morning, it will be two o’clock: we will therefore gain an hour of sleep, but will lose an hour of natural light.
For several years now, the abolition of the time change has been debated. When the European Parliament polled citizens on the subject, 80% of the 4.6 million people who responded were in favor of ending this tradition.
If the MEPs voted in this direction, a question remains unanswered: are we going to keep winter time, or summer time? Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and lack of European harmonization, this year again, it will be necessary to wait before obtaining the answer to this question.
Human health, historical logic, economy… Each camp defends its time according to its own arguments. But what about the wallets of French women and men, particularly damaged in this context of galloping inflation?
To better understand the consequences of the time change on our purchasing power, Planet questioned the citizens’ association for a fair and sustainable time and the European association for summer time, which campaign respectively for the maintenance of daylight saving time. winter time and for summer time.
What are the economic arguments in favor of maintaining winter time?
“The government could help the French to spend less on energy by not advancing the clock next spring”, asserts from the outset Laëtitia Moreau Gabarain, president of ACHED (citizen association for a fair and sustainable hour) .
Since 1976, France has been two hours ahead of the sun and its standard time in summer, says the association. According to her, the time to keep is “the one that gives light in the morning to be healthy, not having to warm up or take the car in the cold and dark of the morning, and which gives freshness in the evening. with less light so as not to have to air-condition and to sleep well”.
Asked about the positive effects of winter time on the economy, the president of the association affirms that everyone’s health is damaged by the lack of sleep and the morning darkness.
For its part, the European association for summer time also advances the argument of energy saving.
Olivier Fabre, business manager and local elected representative, co-founded the European association for summer time. For Planet, he explains that the savings induced by maintaining summer time are not negligible. “If you don’t keep daylight saving time, from April through September you’re going to have daylight before seven in the morning, a time when a lot of people are still at night. bed. In addition, we also have an hour less between 8 and 9 p.m., when the majority of people are still up,” he says.
Thus, the earlier sunset would tend to increase the use of electric lighting in the evening. The same goes for heating and air conditioning.
What arguments will MEPs use to choose between summer time and winter time? Case to follow.