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Chile Extends DST Again Due to Energy Crisis

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Published 3-Mar-2011. Changed 28-Mar-2011

Update: The Chilean government announced that daylight saving time (DST) will end on Saturday, May 7, 2011. The clocks will move one hour back at midnight (00:00) between Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8, in 2011.

This will be the second time in 2011 that Chile has decided to extend DST in order to make better use of sunlight and increase energy savings. The winter schedule will now last for about four months and is scheduled to end on Saturday, August 20, 2011. The government plans to assess the costs and benefits of extending DST in order to determine the future of DST in Chile.

Chile’s daylight saving time (DST) has been extended to continue until Saturday, April 2, 2011, due to the drought and energy crisis in Chile. Chile was originally scheduled to end DST at midnight (00:00) between Saturday, March 12, and Sunday, March 13, in 2011.

The Puclaro Embalse (reservior) in the Elqui Valley, Chile, on a particularly calm day.

Chile has extended their daylight saving time schedule in response to the drought and energy crisis.

©iStockphoto.com/Tim Abbott

Government Extends DST

The Ministry of Interior announced that DST will be extended in 2011 in order to minimize the use of water stored in the reservoirs. This decision was made in response to the possible drought and energy crisis the country faces in the coming winter. The government hopes that extending DST will promote energy conservation among citizens and provide a measure to control water scarcity.

Chile relies heavily on hydroelectric power to meet energy needs and rain shortages can force generators to rely on costly fuel-driven plants. It is anticipated that extending DST will cut energy consumption by 0.3 to 0.5 percent.

Drought and Energy Crisis

Chile is facing the possible problem of drought which will reduce the reservoir levels in some dams throughout the country.

A decree came into force in February 2010 allows the government to consider appropriate action in order to reduce the power supply voltage and manage the resources of the Chilean reservoirs. Thus, the government has decided that although extending DST in Chile will have a relatively low impact on consumption, it may have a significant effect on communication and energy conservation among citizens.

Chile’s DST Schedule

Chile’s daylight saving schedule usually starts at midnight (00:00) between the second Saturday and the second Sunday of October and ends at midnight (00:00) between the second Saturday and the second Sunday of March.

It was originally scheduled to end at midnight (00:00) between Saturday, March 12, and Sunday, March 13, in 2011. Chile is now scheduled to end DST at midnight (00:00) between Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3, in 2011.

This is not the first time that Chile has extended its DST schedule. The country did so in the past due to reasons such as earthquakes and energy problems.

The extension of daylight saving time in Chile also applies to Easter Island, an overseas territory of Chile which is also known as Isla de Pascua in Spanish. Easter Island is six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-6 hours) when it is not observing DST, thus having a two-hour difference from the official time of mainland Chile (UTC-4 hours). Easter Island will move their clocks at the same time as the mainland, but two hours earlier due to the time difference.

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