Greater Victoria residents might expect to see a few more cranky and bleary-eyed co-workers when they head back to work Monday morning.
Daylight saving time returns at 2 a.m. Sunday when clocks spring ahead one hour. The March 14 time change means the sun will rise at 7:28 a.m. in Victoria and set at 7:18 p.m.
David Prerau, author of Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time, credits Benjamin Franklin with the idea to reset clocks in the summer months as a way to conserve energy. But daylight saving time didn’t officially see the light of day for more than a century, when Germany adopted it in May 1916 as a way to conserve fuel during the First World War. The rest of Europe came on board soon after, with Canada and the U.S. first moving clocks ahead in 1918.
A bit of sleep deprivation isn’t the only drawback to springing forward one hour. Fatal car accidents in the United States increase by six per cent during the week following the introduction of daylight saving time, according to research from the University of Colorado Boulder. U.S. hospitals also see a 24 per cent spike in heart attacks on the day after clocks move ahead, with a 21 per cent drop in heart attack visits on the Monday after clocks fall back.
But health effects and highway safety notwithstanding, the B.C. government is continuing down the path towards permanent daylight savings. B.C. and Washington state have both passed legislation to eliminate seasonal clock changes, but the matter still needs U.S. congressional approval.
B.C. governments have contended for more than a decade that B.C., Yukon, Washington, Oregon and California need to have coordinated time for airline schedules and other key functions of their integrated economies. The Peace River and East Kootenay regions of B.C. have long been on daylight saving time all year round, to facilitate trade with Alberta.
Premier John Horgan has supported the change, which is overwhelmingly popular with the public, but his discussions with state governors were pushed aside by the COVID-19 pandemic this spring.
Washington and Oregon passed legislation and a majority of California voters supported going to daylight saving time permanently. But The U.S. Congress has not approved the change, and California’s Senate has also heard concerns about being out of step with Mexico.
While many believe changing the clocks can curtail energy use, according to BC Hydro, many studies have found the electricity savings after a time change are insignificant, and a recent one out of Alberta suggests it actually increases energy use.
Clocks will return to standard time at 2 a.m. on Nov. 7, when they fall back one hour.
How do you feel about setting your clocks ahead this weekend? Take our poll and let us know.