Harrisburg Bn A&PA Staff Report
Groggy Americans will turn their clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 13.
This marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time (also wrongly known as Daylight Savings Time). Daylight Saving Time will end 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 6.
When Daylight Saving Time goes into effect each spring, clocks are moved forward by one hour at 2 a.m. standard time, and the time becomes 3 a.m. Daylight Saving Time. When it ends in the fall, the clock is moved back at 2 a.m. Daylight Saving Time, and the time becomes 1 a.m. standard time. This is where the saying “Spring Forward, Fall Back” comes from.
The change to Daylight Saving Time ostensibly allows us to use less energy in lighting our homes by taking advantage of the longer and later daylight hours.
During Daylight Saving Time the names of each of the time zones in the U.S change as well.
When on standard time, the time zones in the U.S. are Alaska Standard Time, Pacific Standard Time, Mountain Standard Time, Central Standard Time and Eastern Standard Time.
When on Daylight Saving Time, the time zones in the U.S. become Alaska Daylight Saving Time, Pacific Daylight Saving Time, Mountain Standard Time, Central Daylight Saving Time and Eastern Daylight Saving Time.
Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii, and the territories of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa are the only places in the U.S. that do not observe Daylight Saving Time but instead stay on standard time all year long.
Other parts of the world observe Daylight Saving Time as well. European nations have been taking advantage of the time change for decades, and in 1996, the European Union standardized an EU-Wide European Summer Time, which runs from the last Sunday in March through the last Sunday in October. In the southern hemisphere, where summer comes in December, Daylight Saving Time is observed from October to March.
Equatorial and tropical countries don’t observe Daylight Saving Time since the daylight hours are similar every season so there’s no advantage to moving clocks forward during the summer.
Kyrgyzstan and Iceland are the only countries that observe year-round Daylight Saving Time.
Three large regions in Australia do not participate in Daylight Saving Time. Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland stay on standard time all year. The remaining south-central and southeastern sections of the continent (where Sydney and Melbourne are found) make the switch. This results in both vertical and horizontal time zones “Down Under” during the summer months.
China, which spans five time zones, is always eight hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and does not observe Daylight Saving Time.
In Japan, Daylight Saving Time was implemented after World War II by the U.S. occupation, but in 1952, it was abandoned because of strong opposition by Japanese farmers.
Daylight Saving Time was instituted in the U.S. during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II, the federal government again required the states to observe the time change.
Between and after the wars, states and communities chose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time until 1996 when Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time.
Daylight Saving Time is four weeks longer since 2007 due to the passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005. The Act extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, with the hope it would save 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced use of power by businesses during the daylight hours.