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Keep calm, cut the air con - Japan's energy saving is model for Europe

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By Rocky Swift and Yuka Obayashi

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Unless of course you don’t HAVE an Air Conditioner to turn ON…right Europe ?

29 ( +36 / -7 )

Intense social pressure - the kind that has ensured almost complete public compliance with mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic - also played a part, he said.

It is the LDP ace in the hole. At the start of the pandemic when the government response was Abenomasks and urges, LDP politicos called many times for the public's "self-reliance" as other nations were already enacting new legislation and rolling out stimulus to the populace.

Here the LDP will try to get away with generous subsidies to oil suppliers and power companies while relying on self-imposed austerity from the Japanese public.

At the cost of how many lives, especially the elderly, from heat stroke we will see.

-4 ( +15 / -19 )

And also because Western Europe has well insulated houses and buildings

18 ( +34 / -16 )

More self shoulder patting I see…

Massages feel best when done by others.

2 ( +29 / -27 )

Rather interesting to see the development, as Japan used to look at Europe to consider introducing a summer time system to save energy. But the winter season is more challenging to any energy saving programmes.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

People in Tokyo are in for a rude awakening,when a coal fired plant in Chiba darken Tokyo skies with coal soot

-8 ( +11 / -19 )

all this unnecessary austerity when there’s a solution staring us in the face: nuclear power. ramp it up!

6 ( +17 / -11 )

Well done Japan, setting a good example to the world..

Meanwhile blind and foolish Europe continues to do nonsense against Russia, to please the pathetic whims of the US, winter is coming and you wont like it..

-31 ( +12 / -43 )

One thing that is ALWAYS conveniently overlooked about the power grid here, that WOULD have helped alleviate the problems following the earthquake and tsunami, is that norther Japan and southern Japan are not connected on the power grid, as the systems are incompatible.

IF they were compatible, the after effects, would have been a hell of a lot different!

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Forgot one important energy waster, the so called ECO water boilers that sucks energy 24/7 just to keep water hot and ready for use on demand , this electricity Guzzles should be eliminated and replaced with Gas or Kerosene boilers where energy is only used when needed.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Is this the same Japan with one vending machine per 4 people running 24/7?

5 ( +27 / -22 )

 Workplace managers raised thermostats and encouraged employees to embrace the government's "Cool Biz" campaign of wearing lighter clothes in the summer.

I think Cool Biz is great, but raising the thermostat and forcing your employees to dress lighter is a bad solution. Working shorter hours and using that time more efficiently will save more electricity. I've had the (mis)fortune to experience this cool biz, they set the temperature to 27 Celsius, while the outside was 30 Celsius. I'm from Southeast Asia and I can probably tolerate the heat better than most Japanese, but that is just suicide. I'd rather have an electric fan with an open window than have an enclosed office with the temperature set just a couple degrees lower than the outside. Japan also didn't consider that most European structures weren't meant to cope with high temperatures and its people even moreso.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I don’t recall any power outages in Tokyo back in 2011. And I also kept my AC on almost 24/7 that summer. I heard too many stories of the elderly dying at home from heatstroke from drinking nothing but diarrhetic tea and no AC. And all Japan accomplished was increasing carbon emissions from halting the nuke plants.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

such as dimming the lights and taking the stairs.

So tired of these MSM talking heads sitting in their ergonomic Herman Miller office chairs and probably air con on full blast recommending everyone live like third world peons, never naming governments or the whole political/economic/warmongering “plan” as responsible.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

During the 2011 earthquake many home in the Tohoku region lost their Eco Water boilers, they simply fell down to the ground because they stand Tall and are filled with water, two friends I know lost theirs then when I checked back with them they have already replaced them with gas units. one thing they found out is that their Electricity bill dropped from 55,000jpy to about 15,000jpy / month but of course they have to pay for Gas which still much cheaper than 40,000/ mth.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Europe got in bed with Putin and this what happened.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

lost their Eco Water boilers, they simply fell down to the ground

Mine will become a nice meat smoker soon.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

We run the ac on the "dehumidifier" than "cooling" which still cools but has fewer watts.

Many Brits and Europeans are wishing they even have ac.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Energy saving, or "setsuden", became a national project for Japan in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Most Japanese companies entered austerity mode as soon as the 2011 disaster hit, switching off lights and idling elevators. The environment ministry targeted an even bigger reduction of 25% through steps such as turning off more than half of its printers during peak hours, and asking workers to bring in their own cold drinks so it could unplug vending machines.

Professional baseball and soccer teams halted night games and moved matches to afternoons to reduce demand for lighting. Workplace managers raised thermostats and encouraged employees to embrace the government's "Cool Biz" campaign of wearing lighter clothes in the summer.

Automaker Nissan Motor Co rejigged factory shift times to ease the burden on the grid at peak mid-afternoon hours and convenience store chain Lawson Inc switched to LED light bulbs and added solar panels at many of its stores.

Of course, the idea of installing Solar panels on homes, schools building and factories was NEVER considered...except at Lawson

More self shoulder patting I see…

Massages feel best when done by others.

exactly

-2 ( +18 / -20 )

Well done Japan, setting a good example to the world..

Meanwhile blind and foolish Europe continues to do nonsense against Russia, to please the pathetic whims of the US, winter is coming and you wont like it..

I can't wait to see what you write when Lord Putin finally falls.

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

And also because Western Europe has well insulated houses and buildings

Only Germany/Denmark and Scandanavia, isn't it? In Germany landlords pay for heating, not the tenants.

The UK has central heating running on gas that used to be cheap, but isn't any more. From October, many people in the UK will have a 3500 GBP plus energy bill. That's 50,000 yen a month, every month. The UK is not even that cold. Most of the country is no colder than Japan, with north and mountainous parts of Japan much colder.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What a joke of a title

0 ( +16 / -16 )

No, it isn't. The climate crisis needs much more meaningful measures than turning up the thermostat of air conditioning.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

 Electricity bill dropped from 55,000jpy to about 15,000jpy / month but of course they have to pay for Gas which still much cheaper than 40,000/ mth.

Never heard of those high rates before?

Summer power with ac ¥6,000. Gas ¥5,000. Winter power ¥12,000. Gas ¥8,000. ¥11,000 and ¥17,000.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tokyo,we have plenty of fuel, food,we watse enough energy to heat Japan

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

diarrhetic tea 

Caffeine makes you go to the toilet, but drinks including it hydrate you because they include far more water than caffeine. Dehydration is not caused by excessive peeing, its from insufficient drinking. It's perfectly healthy to drink ice coffee in summer. As with spicy food, the strong taste of coffee provides a stimulus to drink it when fatigued. It's quite common for cyclists to make cafe stops or to drink Coke as a pick-me-up. Given the large number of obsessives among cyclists, no-one would do it if it hindered performance.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I do not think Japan is a model when it comes to Energy saving. In the first place, energy consumption is very high

5 ( +17 / -12 )

We got 100 of million of barrels of oil ,the tanker can come in an pump million of barrels of oil,in one fill up and drive off

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

ECO water boilers that sucks energy 24/7 

Those machines are heat pumps that use heat in the air to heat the water. For much of the year, this can be done with about 400% of the efficiency of simply heating the water directly with any other heat source. Efficiency goes down in winter due to the need to defrost the machines, but they still work quite well. The same applies to air cons used for heating. If yours don't work in winter, replace them with "kanreichi (cold zone)" models with beefed up defrosters.

If you are going to attack eco cute boilers, the obvious thing is the purchase price. People who fit them all say their bills go down, i.e., they cannot be "sucking energy".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The big difference with Europe now and Japan back in 2011 is that the Japanese were not forced to cut power consumption. They were asked and obliged. Just like the masks. Europeans don’t have a choice. And when people don’t have a choice it can make the bitter and angry.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The heat pump units produce hot water from gas plus electricity. The price of the units has gone down considerably but the government ended the subsidies. Could not find the actual monthly cost of running one.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru - ...northern Japan and southern Japan are not connected on the power grid, as the systems are incompatible.

They talked about unifying the system just afterwards but they've just let it fall by the wayside. The govt did put a hell of a lot of effort in obtaining and blowing a lot of money on the Olympics though. Priorities.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

It is impossible to fully connect the two grid systems. There is a small amount of crossover.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Err...I have yet to visit a J-family / J-friends / J-inlaws where there is not:

.a TV on in the background with nobody watching

.a coffee-machine on 24/7

.a rice-cooker on 24/7

.pcs on or in sleep-mode 24/7

.toilet-rooms with the lights on 24/7 (TBH, that maybe when they got visitors (here: me /us) )

.toilet seat-warmers on 24/7

.keeping bathtub water warm being on for far too long

.heating floors in winter

.air-conditioning in summer

etc

As other mentioned (and coming from Europe in 2004), center / north of Europe there are no such things are air-conditioning, heating floors, toilet seat-warmers, etc. (I can't say anything about air-conditioning for the south of Europe).

What Europe also has and Japan desperately needs is a power-grid that enables sharing of electricity.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

blue

our summer electricity is about 50% of our winter.

Need to keep my computers on 24/7 but the power used is low. Toilet seat warmer in winter. AC on dehumidifier setting mostly. Also small electric fans.

The two power grid system works but an increase in renewable energies is needed.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japanese power consumption per capita is about half that of Americans.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

This article is a little incorrect. Due to scaremongering, heat attacks are increasing this year. My local ambulance is constantly running around, people without aircon are dying, I couldn’t get a PCR test for 4 hours because of heat attack patients, and my local shopping center has 50% more people just sitting around inside all day long.

europeans could just open Nord stream 2.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

If the Japanese were competent enough to build houses with proper insulation, as opposed to glorified sheds, maybe we wouldn't need an air conditioner in every room of the house.

0 ( +17 / -17 )

@blue, it’s called evolution from not being cavemen, opps, cavepersons.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The point about heating in Germany is the landlord has some motivation to reduce the cost of it. A house rented out with heating included tells the tenant how much it is going to cost. In the UK or Japan, landlords rent out houses with paper thin walls because they have no incentive not to. The heating cost is 100% someone else's problem, and they will only learn the extent of it after they move in and winter arrives.

While there are completely egregious uses of energy in Japan, pachinko lighting, old houses with no insulation, cars idling for an hour in the convenience store carpark, etc. Japan still does better than many Western countries. A large part of this is small apartments, great public transport, limited flying, and a relatively low meat diet. Japan could do much better, but the article is correct in that other countries doing worse could do with improving to Japan's current level.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Meanwhile blind and foolish Europe continues to do nonsense against Russia,

standing up to bullies is not nonsense.

people who want to allow Putin to get away with his invasion & war atrocities are the blind & foolish ones

6 ( +10 / -4 )

It is impossible to fully connect the two grid systems. 

Not impossible, just highly improbable as there is no desire to actually do what is necessary to make them so.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yubaru

speaking from personal experience the amount and cost of the equipment required to fully connect the two power grids would be prohibitive. The money would be better spent on improving the capacity of both systems and making smart grids.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Keep calm

Japan is model for Europe

I just had to laugh when i read the headline.

Japan is so calm and great role model for other countries.

Hope they realize soon Japan isn't part of Europe

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Kyo wa heiwa dayo ne

the electricity per capita for Switzerland and Japan is the same.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@kohakuebisu

diarrhetic tea

Your confused between what a "diarrhetic" is and what a "diuretic" is

Newsflash - they are not the same thing

As for dehydration it's proven that milk or water with a little fruit is most hydrating

I use a little vinegar and cooling fruits like lime and apple and this weather should 4 liters a day.

Ice water footbath lowers the blood pressure and bitter flavor foods.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Wallace

Thanks for that .

Should i telling grommet ?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Well done Japan, setting a good example to the world..

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

Wallace how is the weather in Switzerland ?

I rest my case !

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japanese homes are hugely inefficient given the lack of insulation and drafty homes from poor wall joints or poor window design, single pane windows?

Some neat traditional designs like Kyoto Machiya have high ceilings and windows to allow airflow but was not put in modern homes or apartments. Could have been put in the unused lanes between houses and also done in low rise apartment blocks in main hallways for example.

Paint the roof white to reflect summer sun also helps.

There are a lot of things that can be physically done before the aircon is turned on

3 ( +4 / -1 )

According to Our World in Data, the latest available statistics - 2020 - for energy per capita at kw/hr shows at least these European countries being more efficient than Japan.

France, Switzerland, Spain, Poland, Denmark, UK, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Croatia....!

This Energy Use not only includes electricity, but also other areas of consumption including transport, heating and cooking.

This data doesn't reflect the source of electrical energy ie geo-thermal. coal., wind, nuclear etc - just the consumption.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If you keep seeking more power when design is most of the problem then it just makes things worse in terms of energy need and production as the planet gets hotter and hotter.

Another example is from Iran with tall ancient cooling towers that use airflow to cool off the building below. Nice!

It's not for lack of human invention, we just need to put it to use and stop pretending more electiricty and blind Elonism is the answer to everything

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is just utter back patting crap that the Japanese and sycophantic Japanese lovers absolute cream themselves over.

Downvote all you like. You know it's true. Europe is miles ahead of Japan in so many ways.

I suppose Japan has natto and that's healthy etc etc

-9 ( +12 / -21 )

@John Noun

Japan has natto

In actual fact the same bacteria used to make natto in Japan has been used to make breads and baking pastries in Europe for centuries like stringy twistbreads etc etc

2 ( +5 / -3 )

As Europe braces for energy shortages from Russian gas cuts?

Are you serious?

How about to say truth that Europe experiencing of loss of common sense?

This is result of antirussian sanctions imposed by EU and west so pls stop spreading hoaxes here!

Rest of next not worth to read just pure crap.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@Redstorm

Switzerland

By the way i live in the yaeyama islands and not in Switzerland.

My heritage is swiss.

Thanks anyway.

The statistics details for Japan and Europe are changing rapidly so perhaps the info you acquired needs updated.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

wallaceToday  10:47 am JST

Japanese power consumption per capita is about half that of Americans.

The US produces about 4 times as much energy as Japan.

Japan is like some third world countries, with most houses without central heating or cooling.

Most houses in the US do not have heated toilet seats for example, because the entire house is heated in the winter, or when desired.

Kyo wa heiwa dayo neToday  02:11 pm JST

By the way i live in the yaeyama islands and not in Switzerland.

Going to Yonaguni in September.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Please Japan, let me explain something: We need no one from government to tell us what to wear on summer, because we are thinking individuals.

Nobody wears suits anyway. Here in Germany, most places have no air conditioner and places that have, are well insulated, needing less AC power to cool down.

We all know that you love to talk about how great you are, but this in Europe will only embarrass you.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

its probably time to turn down or turn off the bright signs in Akihabara, that would save some electricity, also there is the teck that is used on electric cars to charge up the cars batteries, when they are going down hill or comming to a stop, they use the electric motor as a generator to recoup some electricity, why dont JR apply this to there bullet trains? when a train is slowing down it could put upto 10-20% back into the electrified lines.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Europe taking lessons from Japan now… ( O_O )’’’

Unless of course you don’t HAVE an Air Conditioner to turn ON…right Europe ?

spot on

Europe doesn’t have shitsudo the same way Japan has; no jungle weather; so there’s no need for that eakon culture. Europeans would rather apply their knowledge and capabilities in things that matter and not being from pseudo-technologically advanced nations.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Would be nice if Japan introduced summer time shift for at least 2 hours. Its unnecessary bright at 4am, while just 7pm is already dark.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

painkiller

Japanese power consumption per capita is about half that of Americans.

The US produces about 4 times as much energy as Japan.

That is meaningless.

USA electricity consumption per capita kWh 12,000.

Japan's electricity consumption per capita kWh 7200.

Japan is like some third world countries, with most houses without central heating or cooling.

> > Most houses in the US do not have heated toilet seats for example, because the entire house is heated in the winter, or when desired.

USA CO2 per capita 14 tons

Japan's CO2 per capita 8 tons.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

USA CO2 per capita 14 tons

I believe that the consume in industries and factories in US are pushing the average numbers up.

Do you have the household averages?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

wallaceToday  03:33 pm JST

That is meaningless.

No it isn't.

USA electricity consumption per capita kWh 12,000.

Japan's electricity consumption per capita kWh 7200.

Like I said, the US produces 4 times as much energy as Japan. It's like a third world country here in Japan.

If I leave my house in the US for several months, I never shut off the heating system. Even in winter.

In Japan, how many people who were to go away for the winter months would leave the heat on in their house from November through February? Japanese won't even leave the heat on at night when they go to bed.

How many Japanese leave their a/c on all night? All week?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

painkiller

That is meaningless.

No it isn't.

> USA electricity consumption per capita kWh 12,000.

> Japan's electricity consumption per capita kWh 7200.

Like I said, the US produces 4 times as much energy as Japan. It's like a third world country here in Japan.

*You do not understand the generation and consumption of electricity. Americans consume per capita 1.66 times more than the Japanese. The fact that it generates four times more power for a population that is only 2.5 times greater than the Japanese one. This means Americans are using more resources and creating more CO2 and other gases than the Japanese.

*Japan is far from a third world and you are free to leave any time you wish. Don't forget to switch the heating off on the way out.

If I leave my house in the US for several months, I never shut off the heating system. Even in winter.

*Probably wasteful

In Japan, how many people who were to go away for the winter months would leave the heat on in their house from November through February? Japanese won't even leave the heat on at night when they go to bed.

*Why heat a house if you are not there? Water down the drain.

How many Japanese leave their a/c on all night? All week?

*Very few. We have the bedroom ac for the first hour. Ice pillows and a small fan.

*America is a major polluter.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

painkiller

when there is no one at my house in America the handyman turns off the utilities. He also opens and closes the storm shutters according to the weather and cuts the lawn and tends to the garden.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

We all know that you love to talk about how great you are, but this in Europe will only embarrass you.

Brilliant and well said.

@wallace-ice pillows and a small fan? Deary me.

As for polluting the world, the Japanese are one of the worst culprits

-15 ( +7 / -22 )

John Noun

@wallace-ice pillows and a small fan? Deary me.

When you pay my bills I'll leave the ac on all night.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

When you pay my bills I'll leave the ac on all night.

There's a middle ground between me paying your bills, and you being tightfisted though, surely?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Europe has had energy shortages in the past. Not much Japan that can teach.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

As a Belgian living in Tokyo. I can say that Belgian (and probably a good part of Europeans as well) are way more frugal than Japanese when it comes to energy consumption. As most people mention, the most house has good isolation and don't rely on air conditioners. This article has been written by a clueless person that want to praise how Japan is better than everyone else, when in reality it is not.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Bizarre to see these discussions of 'Europe', with dozens of countries and hundreds of millions of people. Imagine if I made the same generalisations about 'the Americas' (35 countries, 1.014 billion inhabitants), for example that many city dwellers live in uninsulated tin-roofed single brick walled shanty dwellings without a window.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

John Noun

When you pay my bills I'll leave the ac on all night.

There's a middle ground between me paying your bills, and you being tightfisted though, surely?

You should not be so quick to judge. We are long-term retired and careful with our spending. But we don't need to have the ac on all night.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

painkiller

*You do not understand the generation and consumption of electricity.

I do. You don't.

I worked in the electrical industry for most of my life.

*Japan is far from a third world and you are free to leave any time you wish. Don't forget to switch the heating off on the way out.

No, Japan is very much like a third world country. You are free to leave anytime you wish also.

> *Why heat a house if you are not there? Water down the drain.

> You don't understand the intricacies of US homes. For one, plants need a certain temperature to live. For another, the water in the pipes need to be kept from freezing. For even another, no one in the US is going to leave their lights off for an extended period of time. And finally, because energy is so cheap.

You can turn off the water, gas, and electricity when not occupied. Give your plants to a friend to take care of. Or ask your handyman to do it. That is what we do.

Because it was cheap. So no thought about your personal carbon footprint?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

My children in Europe do not want to visit my house in Japan in either summer or winter, but especially winter.

Yet you get used to a bedroom at average 5 degrees if you live there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am stunned as a South African. What happened that countries in Europe, and Japan, adopted energy policies I thought were an African problem?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In 35°C+ I would need to not just dress lighter, but go to work naked.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Remember when nuclear power was considered a green energy to be used as the baseline alongside wind and solar?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Welcome to "Agenda 21, 30"

Where you will use less and like it..

Like it or not !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm working from home, and keep the AirCon off... the temperature rises to about 34'C with Humidity around 35% (today's figures) - it's bearable whilst when WFH since I can wear literally nothing, however I do worry about my PC overheating...

This year, so far, hasn't the hottest here in Japan in my limited experience - a couple of years ago, it hit 40'C in my "WFH room" though I forgot which month that was; needless to say, it was hot...

When you WFH - if you are a Contractor, you don't get paid commute fees, you don't get paid for Electricity usage, including AirCon, and your Salary (in Japan), tends to be lower than Permanent Staff members. Your "Holiday" entitlement is not enforced, and taking it is made more cumbersome by your "Management Company", so in the end, you don't take Holidays/breaks until your end of Contract. But, you can wear literally whatever you like... and with some Video Conferencing platforms you can "pretend" to be within an Office, or on the Beach... or.. you can pretend to be a Cat...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Use green energy that would take the world back to the dark ages - no aircon, no lights, no TV, no electric power.

unleash Japan’s nuclear energy for unlimited, cheap, abundant, effective, clean, and reliable power source.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Turn off aircon? What aircon? European homes are properly insulated.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

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