President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that the new change will take effect May 1. He didn't provide details about how much or in what direction the clocks would move, saying only that it's an additional emergency measure to prevent power outages as a severe drought reduces power output by lowering water levels at hydroelectric dams. As part of the energy-saving drive, he also declared Monday a public holiday.
"It's a very simple measure that represents an important savings," Maduro said about the shift in the time zone.
The move follows Maduro's decision requiring cinemas to close early and shopping centers to generate their own electricity and his call for women to ease up on hair blowers in a bid to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent.
More controversially, he has also started giving state employees Fridays off. The surprise furlough for Monday means that as of Tuesday, when Venezuelans celebrate independence day, 17 of the last 31 calendar days will have been non-work days for many Venezuelans. Maduro gave workers off the three days leading up to the Easter holiday last month.
Not everyone is celebrating the extra time off.