Egypt to reapply daylight-saving time annually to rationalise use of energy

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Mar 2023

The Egyptian government decided on Wednesday to restore applying daylight-saving time setting annually, starting from April’s last Friday and until October’s last Thursday, with the aim of "rationalising energy use".

File Photo: Rush hour traffic fills the 6 October bridge over the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt. AP


This came upon the government’s approval of a draft law in this regard during the weekly cabinet meeting.

Egypt is normally two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) — which means it will be three hours ahead when daylight saving time is applied.

“From the last Friday of April until the end of the last Thursday of October of each Gregorian year, the legal hour in the Arab Republic of Egypt according to which the time is followed will be advanced by sixty minutes,” read the draft law.

This comes in light of the economic conditions and changes the world is witnessing and the government's efforts to rationalise energy exploitation, the cabinet said on Wednesday.

Last August, the cabinet spokesperson Nader Saad revealed the government’s plan to restore the daylight-saving time but said it would be implemented later in the summer of 2023 because “there should be prior notice to international organisations and institutions such as aviation”.

Saad stressed at the time that daylight-saving time is important in saving energy and electricity consumption.

His remarks came a few days after Madbouly revealed the government’s plan to reduce and rationalise energy and water consumption nationwide amid the global energy crisis.

Today, Saad told the media that the move will contribute to saving 10 per cent of energy consumption over the six-month-stint based on studies conducted recently, noting that this reduction in power consumption is significant in light of current global circumstances and hikes in prices of energy and oil products.

Reducing power consumption through reapplying daylight-saving time will reduce pressure on the hard currency as Egypt imports more than 100 million barrels of fuel annually to operate its power generation stations.

Applying daylight saving time also targets more savings in locally-produced gas used in generating power.

Such reduction in the usage of gas allows the surplus to be exported, thus reducing once again pressure on the hard currency by providing a new US dollar resource.

Around 40 per cent of countries around the world apply daylight saving time during the summer, including rich countries such as the United States and countries in the European Union, Saad added.

"These countries apply the summertime for the same reason Egypt does" he stressed.

Daylight-saving time is not an alien system in Egypt as it was applied and then cancelled several times before.

First implemented in 1957, the system was introduced as a power-saving measure that prolonged daylight hours before it was cancelled in 1975.

The system was later applied for three years, beginning 1982.

In 1988, it was applied again until 2011, when it was abolished after the uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The government argued at the time that the practice was ineffective at curbing power usage.

The system was temporarily revived in May 2014 to ease consumption after the country saw rolling power blackouts.

It was cancelled again in July 2016.


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