One simple change could save struggling households around £400 a year on fuel bills


    But the move would depend on a bold move by the Government and a break with tradition going back more than a century. Professor Aoife Foley from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast is urging Prime Minister Liz Truss to forgo plans to put the clocks back an hour at the end of this month.

    In doing so, the Government would dramatically reduce demand on the National Grid at peak times, Prof Foley argues.

    Professor Foley, who specialises in clean energy research, said: “By simply foregoing the winter Daylight Savings Time (DST) in October, we save energy because it is brighter in the evening during winter, so we reduce commercial and residential electrical demand as people leave work earlier, and go home earlier, meaning less lighting and heating is needed.

    “We are no longer in an energy crisis in Europe but an energy war and dependent on weather conditions this winter it is very likely we may need to start rationing energy very seriously to avoid bigger energy issues in December and January when gas reserves start to run low.

    “There is no doubt that by foregoing the daylight savings in winter we would save a lot of energy, reduce our bills and carbon emissions during this energy war, and especially during a cost of living crisis.”

    According to Prof Foley’s calculations, such a move would flatten the evening peak curves on energy demand by as much as 10 per cent, if commercial demand was included, and save households on average £1.20 a day, amounting to £400 annually.

    During the winter, evening energy demand peaks between 5pm and 7pm and the National Grid may struggle with this.

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    Since 2002, most countries in the European Economic Area adjusted their clocks on the last Sunday in March and October, but there was some variation.

    Critics of scrapping daylight savings fear road traffic collisions and there also would be time zone issues between the UK and Ireland.

    Prof Foley said research shows that most road fatalities occur on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and that speed, tiredness and alcohol is an influencing factor.

    She added: “Most road collisions occur in good visibility during the day and outside of built-up areas.

    “It would be great if the UK Government consulted with the Irish Government on an emergency proposal to abolish daylight savings this year.

    “Obviously in Ireland two different time zones would be impossible but Ireland would also make energy and emissions savings and enhance security of supply.”

    As things stand, the clocks are scheduled to go back an hour on October 30.


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