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Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag

17.05.2016 | Publication

Assessment of daylight saving time

For TAB report no. 165, the scientific findings and experience regarding daylight saving time existing so far have been examined and presented in a general overview - English policy brief now available.

The so-called »daylight saving time« (DST) or »summer time«, i. e. setting clocks forward by one hour during the summer months, provokes since its introduction debates on the benefits of DST in relation to possible negative implications. In 2007 for the last time, the European Commission concluded that – apart from the fact that it provides greater opportunities for a wide range of evening leisure activities and produces some energy savings – DST has little impact.

However, the framework conditions under which the implications of DST have to be considered possibly have changed since 2007. Under this impression, the scientific findings and experience regarding DST existing so far have been examined and presented in a general overview for TAB's working report no. 165 »Assessment of daylight saving time«. The central question of the investigation was whether it is appropriate to make a substantial reassessment of the implications of DST compared to the evaluation the European Commission made in 2007.

TAB's policy brief no. 8PDF [2,90 MB] which is now available in English features the key findings of the report. The main conclusion drawn from the investigation is that the question whether DST shall be maintained or abolished finally must be subject of corresponding political and societal debates and can fall back on scientific facts only to a very limited extent. Whatever the results of such debates would be: A modification of the currently ap-plicable provisions will only be possible by revising the relevant EU directive within the framework of an ordinary legislative procedure at EU level. The European Com-mission has discretion whether or not to initiate a corresponding legislative procedure aiming at amending the present provisions.

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