Morocco plans to re-introduce Daylight Saving Time on June 1st to both align its time zone with regional and international partners and reduce power consumption.
More Daylight: Good for Business
“The Ministry of Energy and Mining compiled a study on the efficiency of using energy, based on the currently adopted time. The study concluded that should the clock be set one hour ahead during summer, Morocco’s consumption of energy will drop by 1%,” said Public Sector Modernisation Minister Mohammed Abbou.
Morocco has observed the daylight-saving measure twice before: from March 16th, 1984 through October 1st, 1985, and again for the month of June in 1989. According to Abbou, these earlier experiments were successful at “improving the management of domestic affairs, the relationship between the government and citizens … reducing the cost of management and allowing the biggest number of employees to make optimum use of time.”
Economic expert Lahcen Daoudi doubts, however, that the measure will make any significant difference, given Morocco’s 8-9% annual increase in energy demand, tough global conditions amid the soaring prices of fuel and climate changes which have caused low rates of electricity production.
“The last thing that can help economise on energy is setting the official clock one hour ahead,” Daoudi told Magharebia. Morocco is acting as though it were an energy-producing country when in fact it imports 96% of its energy needs, he noted.
Beyond the issue of energy consumption, daylight-saving time is still very controversial. Some Moroccans maintain it has a negative impact, upsetting citizens’ lifestyles and the cycle of production. Proponents, meanwhile, believe that pushing the clock ahead, even if just by sixty minutes, starts working hours earlier and relieves people from the heat of the day.
Mustapha Bakkori, a civil servant, believes that summer timing has a positive impact in terms of rationing electricity, optimising solar energy use, and promoting tourism, shopping and trade.
Banker N. Samir said the summer timing upsets working hours, which, in turn, has a gloomy impact on power and electricity consumption. On the other hand, he conceded that without the time adjustment, communicating with other countries across different time zones is problematic for banking transactions, stock exchanges, even air travel.
“Daylight-saving time is an opportunity for employees to finish working hours early and enjoy an extra hour to do their own business. Also, advancing the clock for 60 minutes will save on energy consumption, since some government agencies work by night,” said office employee Mohammed Attaoui. Homemaker Safia Badri believes the decision to push the clock forward, though “inconvenient”, will serve many business owners whose work requires an early start. Source: www.magharebia.com
Colin Timms of Moroccan Sands comments: “This move in yet another signal that Morocco is serious about aligning itself with European countries and will be welcomed by anyone who does business in Morocco”. He continued: “As a company that specialises in selling Morocco property, we particularly appreciate the increased synchronisation of office hours between ourselves and our Morocco property developer partners, Moroccan real estate lawyers and local banking contacts.”