October 24, 2020

Daylight saving time: When do clocks change? When do we spring forward?

Are you tired of going home in the dark of winter, hoping for the brighter’s days of spring? Just be patient, daylight saving time is on the way.

When exactly?

Daylight saving time officially starts Sunday, March 8 at 2 a.m. Most people set their clocks one hour ahead (or let their smart devices do it for them) the night before.

Sunrise and sunset will be about one hour later on March 8, pushing the daylight hours into the afternoon.

We will enjoy the brighter afternoons until Nov. 1 when daylight saving time ends and we “fall back” by moving our clocks back one hour.

Why do we spring forward? 

Daylight saving time originally began as an effort to save fuel used to light and heat homes during war time. It went away shortly after World War I, only to return during World War II. It was used year-round during the war but the practice wasn’t used consistently among the states after the hostilities ended.

It took federal action to standardize the time change.

Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, establishing a schedule for DST: clocks would be moved ahead one hour on the last Sunday in April and one hour back on the last Sunday in October.

The schedule was altered several times in the following decades, most recently by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which set the start of DST (springing forward) at the second Sunday in March and the ending of DST (fall back) on the first Sunday in November.