(Illustration) Flash 90

With the clock set to change Thursday night, the Energy and Water Ministry said that the later institution of the winter clock (standard time) and the earlier deployment of the summer clock (daylight savings time) has been a great boon for the economy. According to the Ministry, Israel saved NIS 50 million in 2013 by extending the summer clock.

Clocks will change at at 2 a.m. local time, with an hour “skipped” and the clock moving forward to 3 a.m. Most Israelis set their clocks an hour ahead before going to sleep, although the cellphone companies update subscribers' devices automatically. During the switch to winter time last October, many cell phone users were inconvenienced as their devices did not update accordingly. At that time the solution for many was to switch the time zone to "Athens, Greece."

In the past, the summer clock had ended in early September, but in 2012 the Knesset voted to extend it to the first weekend in October. According to the Ministry, that one month extension alone saved the economy over NIS 27 million. Those savings are likely to be even greater next year, the Ministry said, with the summer clock extended to the end of October.

The savings come from the extended daylight period, which allows municipalities and local governments to keep street lights and other sources of light off for an extra hour each day.

The changes are intended to bring Israel into a closer time synchronization with Europe, which also switches over to winter time in October.

The switches were controversial, given that Israel had been switching to winter time for the Jewish fall holidays, which sometimes occur in early September. This was meant to make life easier for observant Sephardic Jews who wake up early for the Slichot prayers during the holidays, and to make the Yom Kippur fast end earlier for everyone.