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Argentina Confirms Latest Daylight Saving Schedule

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Published 8-Sep-2008. Changed 6-Feb-2009

Despite calls to abandon daylight saving time in Argentina, the federal government confirmed that the schedule would begin at midnight between October 18 and October 19 in 2008. On this date, the clocks moved one hour forward. The 2008–2009 daylight saving period will end at midnight between March 14 (Saturday) and March 15 (Sunday) in 2009.

However many Argentineans, including key political figures, do not see the need for daylight saving time, with at least 13 provincial governments already abandoning the proposed schedule. The provinces that have abandoned daylight saving time are: Catamarca, Jujuy, La Rioja, Mendoza, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, La Pampa, Neuquén, Rio Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz, and Tierra del Fuego (officially Provincia de Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur).

Buenos Aires City Center in Argentina.

Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, and other cities may observe daylight saving time.

©iStockphoto.com/Nikada

Daylight Saving Plan Proceeds To Save Energy

Argentina’s daylight saving schedule was confirmed via an official federal decree (1693/2008), which states that the summer period for 2008/2009 would begin at midnight (or 00:00) on the third Sunday of October in 2008 and will end at midnight (00:00) on the third Sunday of March in 2009.

The daylight saving schedule is used to reduce electricity consumption, therefore saving energy, throughout the nation. timeanddate.com contacted a federal government spokesperson who said that a study was conducted about previous daylight saving schedule. The results from the study were positive, showing that energy was actually saved as a result of the implementation of daylight saving time throughout the nation.

Daylight saving time has proven to be both an economic and environmental benefit as it reduces power usage through maximizing the use of natural sunlight in the late afternoons or early evenings. Electricity is made from fossil fuel, which emits greenhouse gasses, the spokesperson said. When people reduce energy usage, they reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses.

Energy efficiency is of great importance to Argentina, as well as the need to manage energy demand responsibly by the government and its citizens. The federal government gave provinces the choice of observing daylight saving time. Individual provinces were able to decide if they want to follow the federal government’s daylight saving schedule.

Growing Resentment Against Daylight Saving Time

Many people, including politicians, and especially in the provinces of Corrientes, Entre Rios, and in the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, recently expressed their opinions against the daylight saving approach. Interestingly, the Entre Rios provincial government decided to support the federal government’s 2008–2009 daylight saving schedule despite a strong movement in the province to abandon the schedule. This decision was recently ratified by the energy authorities within the province.

The Catamarca, Jujuy, La Rioja, Mendoza, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, La Pampa, Neuquén, Rio Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz, and Tierra del Fuego (officially Provincia de Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur) provincial governments would not observe daylight saving time. These governments’ decision to ignore the federal government’s proposed schedule was made as a result of public protests against daylight saving time, as well as health-related reasons. Many people who were against daylight saving time believed that it was detrimental to their health and negatively affected their moods. Some said that the amount of sunlight they received during the long summer days was enough for them and there was no need to intervene with their biological rhythm.

Many people complained that the daylight saving schedule would not only affect their health, but it also affect their personal schedules for activities such as bowling and other sports. Moreover, there were some who felt that the daylight saving schedule did not provide solutions to the energy problems the country faced. Others have complained that the government was slow to announce the official date and time, therefore causing confusion and concern among locals and businesses. Some of them felt that the government did not give them enough time to adjust to the daylight saving schedule.

Background

In 2007-2008 most locations in Argentina, with exception to the San Luis province, observed daylight saving time for about 11 weeks, from December 30, 2007, until March 16, 2008. Argentina's congress approved the daylight saving change as part of a broader government plan to conserve energy as the demand for power increases.

However, the San Luis province pushed the clock back to its original time on January 21, 2008, setting it one hour behind the rest of the country. Interestingly, according to government officials, San Luis was one of the provinces that achieved the most energy savings in the last week of January, after it reverted to its pre-daylight saving time.

Earlier this year, discussions on scheduling Argentina’s daylight saving time for the third Sunday in October took place from consultations involving executive members, scientists, academics and the Buenos Aires Naval Observatory (ONBA), which is responsible for the nation’s official time. ONBA is one of the three laboratories in South America that participates in international time links by GPS multi-channel common-views between the ONBA and the United States Naval Observatory (USNO).

A meeting was also recently held at the National University of Lujan in Argentina about energy efficiency. The meeting involved academics, nation’s dealer association of electric power (ADEERA), the Department of Energy of the Province of Buenos Aires and the electric cooperatives of Lujan. At the meeting, there were discussions about the energy usage, the oil consumption crisis, and the importance of natural energy sources such as the wind and sun.



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