Daylight Saving Time 2016: When do we turn back clocks for fall?

Published 1:16 pm Sunday, October 30, 2016

Did the time change today?

No, Daylight Saving Time 2016 comes to an end on November 6, 2016 at 2 a.m. That’s next Sunday, not today. Today, there’s still an hour of extra sunlight at the end of the day and that helps us get through Halloween.

In these parts that means sunset will be shortly after 5 p.m. when the change occurs next Sunday , and even earlier through late December when the shortest day of the year arrives.

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After Congress added an extra month to Daylight Saving Time in 2007 – starting it three weeks earlier in the spring (the second Sunday in March) and ending it one week later in the fall (the first Sunday in November) – we now spend almost 70 percent of our days each year with an extra hour of light at the end of the day.

Originally, when Daylight Saving Time was established in the United States by a federal standard in 1967, it lasted for six months. The premise sold to legislators: energy conservation.

An extra hour of sunlight for half the year meant less time with the lights on inside. The gasoline and retail lobbying efforts had more to do with it than anything, however, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was the strongest force behind the movement.

Studies have shown that people actually don’t save energy and they may use more when gasoline is factored into the equation. They drive to restaurants, they drive shopping, and they drive to sports practices. More people play golf. More shop for groceries.

So retailers, including convenience stores that sell gasoline, successfully lobbied to Congress again in 1986, and Daylight Saving Time was extended for another month, and again in 2007, when it was extended for another month.

Energy conservation, as before, was cited as the reason for the Daylight Saving Time extension to eight months of the American year. But it is worth noting that the candy makers were part of a powerful lobby pushing to extend Daylight Saving Time into November. That extra hour of sunlight on October 31 apparently fuels more candy sales.