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Brazil Confirms Daylight Saving From 2008 Onwards

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Published 29-Aug-2008. Changed 24-Sep-2008

Gone are the days of daylight saving uncertainty in Brazil thanks to a new law that the federal government recently decreed. The Brazilian government set in stone a concrete daylight saving schedule that will take place annually, starting from the third Sunday of October in 2008.

The Brazilian government earlier announced the nation’s daylight saving dates for 2008-2009, however the new law has made these and future dates more concrete. The nation’s daylight saving schedule will occur at midnight between Saturday, October 18, and Sunday, October 19, 2008 when the clocks will move one hour forward. The daylight saving schedule will end at midnight between Saturday, February 14, and Sunday, February 15, 2009.

The purpose of daylight saving time in Brazil is to minimize energy shortages during the peak periods of demand for electricity in the summer months. The daylight saving schedule is part of the government’s aim to promote wise energy consumption throughout the nation.

Brasil Dls

Many Brazilians will soon turn the clock forward one hour to observe the 2008–2009 daylight saving schedule.

©iStockphoto.com/Nikada

Same Schedule for Every Year

On September 8, 2008, it was decreed that daylight saving time would be observed at 00:00 on the third Sunday of October, where the clocks will move one hour forward, until 00:00 on the third Sunday of February, where the clocks will move one hour back. It is important to note that “00:00” refers to midnight between the Saturday and Sunday, not midnight between Sunday and Monday.

In years when the daylight saving end date falls on the Sunday of Carnival, the daylight saving schedule will extend for an extra week until the fourth Sunday of February when the clocks move back by one hour.

Many Areas to Observe the Daylight Saving Schedule

Areas affected by the change include the southern, south-eastern and center-western parts of the country. The daylight saving schedule affects the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Parana, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Espirito Santo, Minas Gerais, Goias, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and the Distrito Federal (Federal District).

According to the National System Operator (ONS), the forecast is that there may be a four to five percent reduction in this issue in demand at peak times, which represents about 2000 megawatts. A 528 megawatt reduction is already estimated for the southern region, which would provide a sufficient supply to a city with a population of 1.5 million people.

Previous Election Clashes

The daylight saving schedule dates are adopted on a yearly basis, so there is no set fixed date until the Brazilian government officially announces decisions for the dates each year. During Brazil’s election years, the starting dates have often been delayed until November. This occurred in 2002, 2004 and 2006 but interestingly not in 2008.

The daylight saving schedule was delayed in previous years to accommodate for electronic voting machines that could not calculate the time changes between election rounds. For example, in 2006 the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) president, Minister Marco Aurelio de Mello, made a special request for the daylight saving starting date to not coincide with the day of elections. Therefore the daylight saving start date was delayed to occur at midnight between November 4 and November 5 in 2006.

Background

Brazil has three time zones due to its large geographic size:

  • The first time zone, which is two hours behind UTC, comprises areas such as the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.
  • The second time zone, which is three hours behind UTC, comprises areas such as the entire coast of Brazil, the Federal District and the interior (except Mato Grosso and Amazonas).
  • The third time zone, which is four hours behind UTC, comprises the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Amazonas, Rondonia, Roraima and Acre.

Although Brazil observes daylight saving time, the start and end dates may change over time and are not necessarily followed by all states. States that observe the daylight saving schedule may also change from year to year.

It is important to note that Brazil recently made time zone amendments so it has only three time zones instead of four, which it had previously.

Dates of Daylight Saving Time 1985–2009

These are the dates Daylight Saving Time started and ended in most of Brazil since 1985. Also, note that some of the above states did not observe DST all these years, but those locations that did observe DST used these common start and ending dates.


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