Lighter Later – saving the daylight

This week we’ve had something of a heatwave in the UK, and we’ve been enjoying long evenings in the garden. Tesco reports that it sold 9 million sausages ahead of the weekend as the whole country got set to barbecue. Those long evenings are political too however. On June 21st, the longest day of the year, a 15,000 strong petition was delivered to Number 10 Downing Street to propose a new daylight savings scheme.

Lighter Later is the latest campaign from 10:10, and it argues that we should shift forward one hour for the whole year. The petition calls for a three year trial of the idea, that would still see us move the clocks forward in summer and back in winter, but with ‘day’ shifted one hour later. After the trial, we’d be able to see what benefits it brought in energy saved, fewer accidents, and lower CO2 emissions, and decide if we wanted to keep it.

The campaign took a big step forward in the last few days when MP Rebecca Harris said that she would table a private members bill on the idea. Parliament will now discuss it in December.

Daylight savings is something we’ve written about before on Make Wealth History, so I won’t go into all the detail again. Daylight savings might seem a little obscure, but the Lighter Later campaign has kicked it back into the mainstream. Expect to hear more about it in coming months, from both those in favour and those who oppose it.


    1. Indeed, and I think they still do, prompting conspiracy theories about Gordon Brown refusing to have the debate.

      The further north you go, the worse this change would be for you. Those who campaign for it argue that the British population is concentrated in the south, and that it makes sense to orient our time to the majority rather than the minority. The benefits and savings to the South would outweigh the inconvenience to the north – in theory at least! I can imagine it would be harder to get excited about in Inverness or Aberdeen.

  1. Yeah let’s blame the Scottish. I have always thought it is strange that London does not have the same time as Berlin, Paris and Madrid. I though that was the real reason….”we’re different from the continent” mentality. It would save CO2 and bring us closer to Europe. Win Win.

  2. Of course, we could just learn to do things at a sensible time for where we are, regardless of what the clock says, or people in a city 500 miles away are doing. It’s not like there’s a law specifying that 0900 to 1730 must be considered ‘normal’ working/opening hours.

    1. This is true, and flexible working would make life easier in many other ways too. Unfortunately that hasn’t percolated through our work culture just yet. My office is pretty good that way, and I definitely find myself going to work earlier in the summer.

  3. I believe the Lighter Later movement will yield considerable results once over, and I like the logic about adopting it for 3 years before evaluating its efficacy. In my country, DST has become more of a political issue than an economic one. When it was first introduced 4 or 5 years ago, it was heavily opposed simply because people didn’t understand the concept. Some people maintained two clock times so they could continue living in the unchanged time zone. This stubborn behavior has been emulated by politicians, and now, when my country faces a shortage of a couple of thousand MW, our prime minister recently said, (paraphrased) ‘if my fellow government workers, and the public is against the idea, then we will not enforce DST even though it saves around 200MW per season’.

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