By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Many clocks in Brazil will move forward one hour as the southern, southeast, and central-west regions of the country begin Daylight Saving Time (DST) at 12AM on Sunday, October 18th. Known in Portuguese as Horario de verão (summer schedule), Brazil adopted the daylight saving schedule in 1931. At first, the time changes were implemented nationwide but starting in 1998 the changes were only enforced in parts of the country.
As of 2013, DST is only observed in the Brazilian states of Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and parts of the Distrito Federal.
Brazil, like many countries around the world, first implemented the daylight saving time system in an effort to conserve energy. According to the Operador Nacional do Sistema Elétrico/ONS (National Electric System Operator), the time change system remains in regions of the country in order to continue to reduce energy demands and the risks of blackouts.
The main objective is to reduce power loads during the peak hours of 6PM and 9PM by using the natural sunlight during the longer days that occur between October and February. According to the Ministério de Minas e Energia/MME (Ministry of Mines and Energy), DST typically results in an average 4 to 5 percent reduction in energy demand. Additionally, this year the federal government estimates that the time change will save approximately R$7 billion.
By law, daylight saving time begins each year on the third Sunday of October and ends on the third Sunday of February, with the exception of years when that Sunday falls during the Carnival schedule when it is postponed until the following Sunday.