The Ministry of Mines and Energy confirmed this week that Brazil will officially start daylight saving time (DST) at midnight (00:00) local time between Saturday, October 16, and Sunday, October 17, 2010. The clocks are adjusted one hour forward at the start of DST and will move back one hour when DST ends at midnight between Saturday, February 19, and Sunday, February 20, 2011.
Brazil’s DST Schedule
The Brazilian government adopted an annual daylight saving time schedule in 2008 that decreed that daylight saving time would be observed at midnight (00:00) local time on the third Sunday of October, where the clocks will move one hour forward, until midnight (00:00) local time on the third Sunday of February, where the clocks will move one hour back. It is important to note that the daylight saving schedule will extend for an extra week until the fourth Sunday of February when the daylight saving end date falls on the Sunday of Carnival.
Daylight saving time was introduced as part of the government’s aim to promote wise energy consumption throughout the nation. Its purpose is to minimize energy shortages during the peak periods of demand for electricity in the summer months.
Areas to Observe DST
The southern, south-eastern and center-western parts of Brazil will be affected by the DST change. 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). It was recorded that the implementation of DST in these areas last year recorded a five percent reduction in energy demand.
DST will not be implemented in the North and Northeastern states of Brazil which include states north of Distrito Federal (Brasilia), Mato Grosso, and Bahia. According to the National System Operator (ONS), research has shown that the implementation of daylight saving time in these areas is not recommended due to the small expected benefits.
Time Zones in Brazil
Brazil has three time zones due to its large geographic size:
- The first time zone, UTC-2 hours, includes areas such as the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.
- The second time zone, UTC-3 hours, comprises the states in the South, the Southeast, and the Northeast Region (except some islands). These include the states of Goiás, Tocantins, Pará, and Amapá, plus the Brazilian Federal District.
- The third time zone, UTC-4 hours, includes 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.