Find information on U.S. and Canada DST dates for 2010 to 2015, what time the clocks change, and which states and territories participate in DST.

Daylight Saving

Daylight savings time (DST) is the annual adjusting of the clocks in the warmer months of the year so that workers can enjoy increased daylight in the afternoon and evening. It has always been controversial as although it is advantageous for retailers, sports organisers and other activities to exploit an extra hour of daylight it can be problematical for activities tied to the sun, such as farming.

According to California's Energy Commission, Congress enacted DST as a way to conserve U.S. resources during World War I and World War II. Many think it is a way to conserve electricity although this point has been debated many times. In a 2008 report the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) reported that the 2007 U.S. extension of DST saved 0.5% of electricity usage during the extended period. Prior to 2007 the period of DST in the US had been almost two months shorter.

When Is Daylight Savings Time and Which Direction Does the Clock Move?

Starting from 2007, day light saving time begins at 2:00 am on the second Sunday in March, and ends at 2:00 am on the first Sunday in November. The clock moves ahead in the spring which means people lose an hour of sleep as the clock is moved forward at 2:00 am standard time to 3:00 am daylight saving time. At the end of DST people get an extra hour of sleep as the clock is moved back an hour.

The phrases "spring forward, fall back" or "spring ahead, fall behind" are an easy way to remember which way to turn the clocks. Changing the clocks is always carried out on a Sunday to minimize disruption and in practice on the Saturday night before the start of daylight savings time, clocks should be set forward one hour before going to bed. On the night before the end of daylight savings time, clocks should be set back one hour to return to standard time.

Daylight Saving Time Dates in Canada and the US

Daylight saving time beginning and ending dates where DST is observed in the United States and Canada are:

  • 2010: March 14 and November 7
  • 2011: March 13 and November 6
  • 2012: March 11 and November 4
  • 2013: March 10 and November 3
  • 2014: March 9 and November 2
  • 2015: March 8 and November 1

Do All of the United States and Canada Observe DST?

Most American states observe DST but there are some exceptions. The states of Hawaii and Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation which does observe DST even in Arizona) do not observe DST, and nor do United States Territories including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. There has been talk of abolishing DST in Alaska as there is already a huge difference in daylight there between summer and winter due to the northerly latitude

Most of Canada observes daylight savings time at the same time as the United States with scattered municipalities and regions throughout the country that do not observe DST. In Newfoundland and Labrador Daylight Saving Time begins one minute after midnight on the second Sunday in March and returns to Standard Time at one minute after midnight on the first Sunday in November, making it out-of-step with the rest of the country for two hours twice a year. Saskatchewan encompasses two different time zones and has chosen to stay on DST all year long to standardize time in the province.