As daylight-saving time (DST) concludes in Australia, the nation witnesses a subtle yet significant shift in its daily rhythm. This annual adjustment, which will see clocks reverting to standard time on April 7, 2024, is more than just gaining an extra hour of sleep. It’s a practice deeply rooted in history and aimed at energy conservation. Read on and learn more about daylight-saving time and its possible energy impact in Australia.


Daylight-saving time (DST) in Australia is observed in several states, including New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory. These regions set their clocks forward by one hour in early October and set them back in early April to make better use of the natural daylight during the evenings.


The original purpose of DST was to save fuel during World War I by reducing the need for artificial lighting. However, modern studies suggest that the impact on energy savings today is complex. Research indicates that while DST may reduce power usage in the evenings, it inadvertently increases demand in the mornings. The overall impact on energy consumption appears to be small, with some studies suggesting that any savings in lighting are offset by increased use of heating and cooling systems.

In Australia, where the climate varies dramatically across the continent, the effects of DST on energy usage are mostly intricate. For instance, in regions where air conditioning is prevalent, extended daylight hours can lead to a rise in energy demand due to increased cooling requirements.

The concept of DST has been a topic of debate, too. Some argue that it disrupts circadian rhythms and poses health risks. Others believe the extra hour of daylight can benefit retail opportunities and provide more time for outdoor activities.

In some countries, the practice of DST is being reconsidered. For instance, the European Parliament voted to end DST from 2021, although this decision was later overturned due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other priorities.


While the effectiveness of DST in saving energy is debatable, it remains a practice in parts of Australia and worldwide. Regardless of its impact on energy consumption, individuals can take steps to manage their energy use effectively before, during, and after this time. Here are some tips on how to save energy with or without DST.

  • Utilise natural lighting as much as possible to reduce the need for artificial lights.
  • Turn off lights and unplug computers, consoles, TV, and other appliances when not in use.
  • Operate appliances like dishwashers and washing machines during the cooler parts of the day to avoid adding heat to your home.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with LED lights, which use less energy and have a longer lifespan.
  • Use fans instead of air conditioning, when possible, to stay cool.
  • Apply window shades to block direct sunlight and reduce heat gain inside your home.


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Sources: 9News | ABC News | Federation University Australia