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Energy Crisis and Drought Extends Chile’s Daylight Saving Time

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Published 12-Feb-2008

Chile Map illustration

Chile is a country in South America that uses daylight saving time.

©iStockphoto.com/FotografiaBasica

Chile will extend its daylight saving time to the last Sunday in March. This extension is part of the Chilean Government’s plan to address its energy and drought problems and to ensure energy supply to the population.

Why daylight saving will be used

Chile is extending its daylight saving time to save energy and minimize future electricity rationings as the country battles against an energy crisis and drought.  Chile’s daylight saving has been extended to March 29 this year, although it was originally scheduled to end on March 8.

The Chilean government recently announced the two-week extension of daylight saving as part of a series of measures aimed at securing energy supplies to the population and to mitigate the consequences of water shortage.

Chile’s Energy Minister Marcelo Tokman said the need to extend daylight saving to the last Sunday of March would provide more light for households in the afternoons when electricity consumption was generally higher than average.  He also emphasized the need for public awareness of the current situation and the importance for Chileans to use electricity responsibly in their homes.

Sun illustration

Chile extended its daylight saving schedule to make the most of the natural sunlight and to save energy.

©iStockphoto.com/frankoppermann

Advantages of daylight saving time

The advantage of daylight saving is that the later hours of daylight enable people to save energy and to minimize the use of electricity in households.

A good percentage of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurs in the evening when families are home. By moving the clock one hour ahead, the amount of electricity consumed each day is reduced.

Chile’s drought and gas shortage

Chile’s electricity problem was also aggravated by falling water levels in reservoirs due to a lack of rainfall. In 2007 Chile suffered one of the driest years in 50 years and the forecasts for 2008 are not looking much better.

Chile is also faced with escalating gasoline prices and a shortfall of imported gas from Argentina, which Chile relies on for imports on a majority of its gas consumption. This shortfall of gas supply is mainly due to Argentina’s restrictions on shipments of natural gas.
The energy situation was worsened by a failure that occurred at one of its largest thermal plants, which produces 54 percent of electricity from the Chile’s Central Interconnected System – a system that serves the central part of the country.

Chile’s electricity sector relies mainly on thermal generation, or 60 percent of installed capacity, with hydropower sources making up for the remaining capacity.

Other energy saving means

Other energy saving means included in the Chilean government’s package of measures include:

  • A 10 percent electricity voltage reduction.
  • More flexible agreements for water usage.
  • A communication campaign informing families on ways to reduce their electricity consumption.
  • The delivery of energy-efficient light bulbs to low-income families.
  • For Chilean government offices to save up to five percent of its electricity consumption.

Official approval

The Chilean government will publish information on the daylight saving extension in the Diario Oficial de la República de Chile website when it is officially approved. This website publishes all laws,  decrees and resolutions when they become official.  

Chilean time is usually administered by the Chilean Navy's Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOA). In 1970 the Chilean law declared that Daylight Saving Time would end on the second Saturday of March.

Dates of Daylight Saving Time 1970–2015

These are the dates Daylight Saving Time started and ended in Chile and the planned dates until 2015. There is a chance that future dates will change.

YearStart dateEnd dateDaylight duration
30060208–1970Dec, February 9485, 0208Sunday, March 29, 1970271,733,781 weeks and 1 day
1970–1971Sunday, October 11, 1970Sunday, March 14, 197122 weeks
1971–1972Sunday, October 10, 1971Sunday, March 12, 197222 weeks
1972–1973Sunday, October 15, 1972Sunday, March 11, 197321 weeks
1973–1974Sunday, September 30, 1973Sunday, March 10, 197423 weeks
1974–1975Sunday, October 13, 1974Sunday, March 9, 197521 weeks
1975–1976Sunday, October 12, 1975Sunday, March 14, 197622 weeks
1976–1977Sunday, October 10, 1976Sunday, March 13, 197722 weeks
1977–1978Sunday, October 9, 1977Sunday, March 12, 197822 weeks
1978–1979Sunday, October 15, 1978Sunday, March 11, 197921 weeks
1979–1980Sunday, October 14, 1979Sunday, March 9, 198021 weeks
1980–1981Sunday, October 12, 1980Sunday, March 15, 198122 weeks
1981–1982Sunday, October 11, 1981Sunday, March 14, 198222 weeks
1982–1983Sunday, October 10, 1982Sunday, March 13, 198322 weeks
1983–1984Sunday, October 9, 1983Sunday, March 11, 198422 weeks
1984–1985Sunday, October 14, 1984Sunday, March 10, 198521 weeks
1985–1986Sunday, October 13, 1985Sunday, March 9, 198621 weeks
1986–1987Sunday, October 12, 1986Sunday, April 12, 198726 weeks
1987–1988Sunday, October 11, 1987Sunday, March 13, 198822 weeks
1988–1989Sunday, October 2, 1988Sunday, March 12, 198923 weeks
1989–1990Sunday, October 15, 1989Sunday, March 18, 199022 weeks
1990–1991Sunday, September 16, 1990Sunday, March 10, 199125 weeks
1991–1992Sunday, October 13, 1991Sunday, March 15, 199222 weeks
1992–1993Sunday, October 11, 1992Sunday, March 14, 199322 weeks
1993–1994Sunday, October 10, 1993Sunday, March 13, 199422 weeks
1994–1995Sunday, October 9, 1994Sunday, March 12, 199522 weeks
1995–1996Sunday, October 15, 1995Sunday, March 10, 199621 weeks
1996–1997Sunday, October 13, 1996Sunday, March 30, 199724 weeks
1997–1998Sunday, October 12, 1997Sunday, March 15, 199822 weeks
1998–1999Sunday, September 27, 1998Sunday, April 4, 199927 weeks
1999–2000Sunday, October 10, 1999Sunday, March 12, 200022 weeks
2000–2001Sunday, October 15, 2000Sunday, March 11, 200121 weeks
2001–2002Sunday, October 14, 2001Sunday, March 10, 200221 weeks
2002–2003Sunday, October 13, 2002Sunday, March 9, 200321 weeks
2003–2004Sunday, October 12, 2003Sunday, March 14, 200422 weeks
2004–2005Sunday, October 10, 2004Sunday, March 13, 200522 weeks
2005–2006Sunday, October 9, 2005Sunday, March 12, 200622 weeks
2006–2007Sunday, October 15, 2006Sunday, March 11, 200721 weeks
2007–2008Sunday, October 14, 2007Sunday, March 30, 200824 weeks
2008–2009Sunday, October 12, 2008Sunday, March 15, 200922 weeks
2009–2010Sunday, October 11, 2009Sunday, April 4, 201025 weeks
2010–2011Sunday, October 10, 2010Sunday, May 8, 201130 weeks
2011–2012Sunday, August 21, 2011Sunday, April 29, 201236 weeks
2012–2013Sunday, September 2, 2012Sunday, April 28, 201334 weeks
2013–2014Sunday, September 8, 2013Sunday, April 27, 201433 weeks
2014–2015Sunday, September 7, 2014Sunday, April 26, 201533 weeks

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