Daylight saving time (DST)


Image credit: National Research Council of Canada, “Time zones & daylight saving time” October 22, 2016.

Dear All,
This post discusses what DST is and where to get more information on the topic.

DST is the practice of advancing the clock by one hour during spring, summer and autumn which allows extending the day by one extra hour of light in the afternoon.

Specifically some time around spring season (e.g. 2nd Sunday of March in Canada) – the clock advances one hour (also known as the “summer time“). Then some time around autumn season (e.g. 1st Sunday in November in Canada) – the clock goes back one hour (also known as the “winter time“). This practice is observed in Europe (e.g. France, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, etc.), North America (Canada, the United States), and some other areas. Interestingly, one part of a country (e.g. Australian Capital Territory) may observe DST while another part (e.g. Northern Territory) doesn’t.

Why is this done? Well, the most important reason is to get advantage of an extra hour of light in the afternoon which helps to save on electricity (or other sources of energy) used to keep residencies lighted and heated.

How does it affect you? If you live in an area that observes DST, make sure that you know when this happens – otherwise you may find yourself one hour ahead of time or one hour late when you go to a meeting. If you plan to visit or phone a different country it may be a good idea to check what DST practices are common there:

  • Does this country or area (e.g. only a part of Australia does it) observe DST?
  • What day of the year they start doing it?
  • What time of the morning they switch the time?
  • Do they still practice it this year?

All these questions should help you determine the exact time in the area you are interested in. Importantly, just knowing the time zone of your area of destination (or intended communication) may be insufficient because your area and the target area may switch the time on a different date (e.g. till October 29, 2016 the difference between time in France and Canada is 8 hours; then on October 30 it is going to be 9 hours, then again 8 hours on November 8; then on March 12, 2017 – the difference is going to be only 7 hours due to the commencement of DST in Canada).

In order to determine, what DST practices are common in the area you are going to, below is a resource that can be of help – this is a link to the website that specializes on the topic:

In brief, this post has focused on DST – what it is, why it is important. The importance of being aware of DST practices in the area or residence or intended destination has been discussed in connection with timely meetings. A resource on the topic has been provided for further research and practical use.

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