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Time to move on from clock changes, says senator

September 19th, 2022 8:00 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Sen Lombard says not changing would save households up to €500.

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A WEST Cork senator who is calling for the scrapping of the clock change this autumn, said this could help ‘flatten the energy curve’ as rising energy costs threaten to hit families.

Fine Gael Sen Tim Lombard said that if the clocks didn’t ‘go back’ this autumn, the mornings would be darker but the evenings would be brighter, meaning it would lower the energy demands during the peak time of 5pm to 7pm.

He said that there has been a lot of work done in proposing this and pointed out that the EU voted for it in 2019.

‘I’ve been doing a bit of work on this with academic Prof Aoife Foley on what it would mean if the clocks weren’t turned back this autumn. It would mean that we would save almost €500 – and 2% of the national grid,’ said Sen Lombard.

‘Our problem is that 5pm to 7pm is peak usage time and by not changing the clock we can flatten the energy curve. A planned peak surcharge might not come into play then.’

He said by doing this now it would lead to a huge energy saving – and it’s all backed up by research. ‘Now is the time to do it and the brighter evenings would help with people getting active.’

He said that work time practices could be changed to suit these new times, too.

‘The big issue here is energy consumption and we could be looking down the line at more amber alerts and blackouts and really expensive energy prices. Not changing the clocks will not only have an economic benefit, but also a social benefit and the time has come for this to happen.’

Sen Lombard pointed out that the clock change began in 1918 during the WWI so it’s well over 100 years old now.

‘The world has moved on, but we haven’t changed with the new modern society.’

He plans to write to the Climate Action Committee and to see if Minister Eamon Ryan has evaluated the proposal.

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