WASHINGTON — In a little more than two weeks, clocks across America will revert to daylight saving time.
Clocks will "spring forward" one hour at 2 a.m. on March 12, subtracting one hour of sleep for most people. It won't be until Nov. 5, the first Sunday of November, when Americans fiddle with their clocks again to "fall back" to standard time.
While daylight saving time has been observed for over 50 years, many dread the biannual time shift. A federal bill last year sought to make daylight saving time permanent for all states, but never became law. Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who led the effort, said he plans to reintroduce it in 2023.
When does daylight saving time start?
Daylight saving time officially starts on Sunday, March 12 at 2 a.m.
Aside from losing an hour of sleep, the time change also means the daunting chore of manually changing clocks. Most electronics nowadays change automatically, but some household appliances still need a manual adjustment.
Did the U.S. make daylight saving time permanent?
Despite more than 50 years of observance, there have been a multitude of efforts to change the practice.
Last spring, the Sunshine Protection Act unanimously passed the U.S. Senate but never became law. A matching House bill was introduced but died awaiting review in the House, meaning it would need to be reintroduced during the current Congress.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who introduced the original legislation, plans to reintroduce the bill in 2023, according to VERIFY. If passed as law, the legislation would make daylight saving time permanent year-round.
Congress is the only one that can change the observance period for daylight saving time. Since 2015, at least 45 states proposed bills to change their observance of DST, according to the Congressional Research Service.
When did daylight saving time start?
The practice has been implemented in some form since World War I when Germany originally introduced it to conserve power and energy by extending daylight hours.
The Standard Time Act in 1918 was the first introduction of daylight saving time to American clocks. The temporary measure, which once held the nickname 'war time,' lasted from spring to fall and was intended to cut energy costs during World War I. The act is also responsible for the five time zones still in place today.
The Department of Transportation was created and given regulatory power over time zones and daylight saving time in 1966. In order to correct confusing and alternating time zones, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 sought a nationwide standard for daylight saving time -- from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October.
Few changes have happened since then. Most recently, daylight saving time was extended by a few weeks in 2005 when former President George Bush changed the law. It is now observed from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.
Despite the national observance, Arizona and Hawaii don't observe daylight saving time. Under federal law, states are allowed to opt out of daylight saving time and remain on standard time, but are not allowed to remain on daylight time.
The U.S. has previously implemented daylight saving time year-round twice: Once in World War II for fuel conservation, and once in 1974 as a "trial run" during an energy crisis.
While there is some belief that daylight saving time reduces electricity consumption, traffic and crime, two studies, one performed in 1975 and one in 2005, when DST was extended, revealed that much of the changes in energy consumption, traffic and crime were "statistically insignificant." The 2005 study found that each day of extended daylight saving time lowered total national electricity consumption by 0.5%.