By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Clocks will be set one hour forward at midnight on Sunday, October 20th, as summer season begins in most Brazilian states. The additional hour of daylight gained by the small change will reportedly save about R$400 million in energy during the four months for which the new schedule will remain in place. This represents four times the amount Brazil’s daylight saving time saved last year.

Brazil's Daylight Savings on Sunday, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Prolonged daylight saves R$400 million on energy, photo by Alexandre Macieira/Riotur.

The daylight saving time will be introduced in the south, southeast and center of Brazil, including Brasília, and will last for 119 days until February 16th. The north and northeast, including the state of Bahia, will not adjust to the new time.

Hermes Chipp, general director of ONS, Brazil’s electricity carrier, would like more states to adopt a daylight saving time. “With high demand and thermal energy, daylight saving time is very important, it brings gains in a period that is important; in the summer,” he told O Globo.

During summer this year, energy demand fell by 4.6 percent during peak hours due to the prolonged daylight. According to Chipp, this year Brazil will not face any blackouts or power rationing during the high demand summer period, as reservoirs are full and the weather forecast looks more favorable than 2012, with more rain.

“When it comes to the reservoirs and the meteorology, we will not have any blackouts. Regional disconnections can always happen, but that is different from [electricity] rationing,” Chipp confirmed at a press conference on October 17th.

Brazil’s summer daylight savings time is believed to save up to 2,700 megawatts of energy. This will also result in R$4.5 billion savings, an amount that is usually invested in energy generation and transmission.

Shops are also expected to see their sales increase by around four percent, as people are more enticed to go shopping after work when the sun is still up. However, early risers might need to time to adjust to the one-hour difference, as early mornings will be darker than they are now.

In Brazil the time change is a week ahead of Europe’s and two weeks ahead of the U.S.’, where clocks will be set an hour back until March 2014. Most of the other Latin American countries, like Argentina, Venezuela and Colombia, do not have a daylight savings time, whereas neighboring Chile has already changed its schedule. Uruguay and Paraguay will set their clocks forward with Brazil on Sunday.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

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