time change

Why do we keep changing the time in Spain: should we turn the clock forward or backward this Sunday?

Why do we keep changing the time in Spain: should we turn the clock forward or backward this Sunday?

There are very recurrent questions in our lives, and no matter how much time passes, we can't find an answer that truly satisfies the doubts that generate them. This weekend is special: the time change is coming. Yes, two Sundays a year we have to play with the hands of the clock, a custom that digitalization and home automation have relegated to the most antiquated objects. This Sunday we have to set the clock forward or backward? Why do we keep changing the time in Spain? How long will we keep changing the time up and down in the middle of the night twice a year?

Daylight saving time is here, the one that brings us sunsets that last until 10 pm in the middle of summer. Sunny afternoons and mornings in which, during the next few days, we will notice that the sun rises later. The time change takes place in the early hours of Saturday to Sunday, when at 02 hours on Sunday, the clock gives a jump of 60 minutes to be directly 03 hours. 

Time change in the middle of Easter Week

This time change always takes place both the last weekend of October and the last weekend of March. Due to calendar issues, this first time change of 2024 will take place in the middle of Easter Week, so we will have to be aware of possible changes in the schedules of processions, as well as in trips back from vacations.

A 'boom' of doubts with the time change

The theory is certainly simple, so basic that it generates a 'boom' of doubts. It is not the first time that the debate on whether to continue changing the time twice a year is advanced. Spain should choose a time zone and that is the one in which it would remain fixed, but this 'leap into the void' time still seems far from arriving.

Until 2026 we will have time changes. This is published in the Official State Gazette. This does not mean that in two years we will put an end to this eternal debate by the fast track, but rather that the Government sets the two annual dates in several years in which we will have to add and subtract minutes to the clock.

It should not be overlooked that the European Union came to approve the end of the time change, but EU politics and its internal complexities resulted in a lack of agreement to finalize the end of the time change.

These days we will see how the messages of savings, the most infallible techniques to not spend more with light, water or gas with the new schedule will sprout. The truth is that day-to-day routines should not change, beyond the fact that the new daylight saving time will allow more life outside the home.

So from this Sunday, weather permitting, we will see more activity in the streets in the evening. Gone are those evenings when at 18 hours was night. The sunset will arrive this Sunday after 20.20 hours, while the sunrise can be seen around 07.50 hours.

With respect to savings, we do not find a common position. There are professional consumer studies that indicate the possibility of saving up to 5% if we adapt the use of electricity to the new time, but in 2019 the Ministry for Ecological Transition debunked the myth of savings with the time change: "There are no updated reports or proven experiences" that "allow us to assert that the time change is associated with energy savings".