CLEARFIELD – Daylight Saving Time has created confusion for more than 100 years. The confusion is sure to persist Sunday, when we spring ahead.
Prior to 2007, we sprung our clocks and watches forward an hour in April and fell back again in October.
Many struggled then to remember the month and day the time changed. Others didn’t remember at all until they were late for work, school or an appointment.
To further the confusion, in 2005, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act to extend Daylight Saving Time by one month at the start of 2007. As a result, we currently begin Daylight Saving Time on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November.
Now, we fail to remember the change to the original Daylight Saving Time rule.
So, just what time is it?
The Energy Policy Act established clocks are set ahead one hour at 2 a.m. local standard time on the second Sunday in March, which becomes 3 a.m. local daylight time. On the first Sunday in November, clocks are set back one hour at 2 a.m. local daylight time, which becomes 1 a.m. local standard time.
All the confusion falls on the backs of legislators, who believe the extra month saves approximately 280,000 barrels of oil or 10,000 each day.
However, history provides support for the time change.
Daylight Saving Time began in World War I and was reestablished during World War II in order to preserve energy for war production by utilizing the later hours between the April and October months.
For approximately a decade, the states debated when to spring forward and fall back. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act to regulate Daylight Saving Time.
During the “energy crisis,” Congress allowed earlier start dates. Daylight Saving Time began on January 6 in 1974 and on February 23 in 1975. Afterward, the start date returned to the last Sunday in April.
After a 1986 law passed, the start date moved to the first Sunday in April. The new start date went into effect the following year. The end date for Daylight Saving Time was not subject to change at the time and remained the last Sunday in October.
Daylight Saving Time has been shifted around both temporarily and permanently for more than a century. So, it will come as no surprise Sunday, when we’re all looking at each other, asking “what time is it?”