Tag Archives: Tokyo

Japan’s energy saving campaign

Because of the nuclear power shortages caused by the tsunami and earthquake in March earlier this year, Japan’s Government has asked government offices and companies to cut electricity use by 15%. They want companies to set room temperatures at a warm 28 degrees Celsius and limit their air conditioning usage.

In another attempt to use less energy, Japan’s government has launched a “Super Cool Biz” campaign to encourage workers to come to work in casual, more lightweight clothing instead of the traditional tie and suit. Workers have started coming into work in trainers, polo shirts and even in some cases flip-flops.

Cool Biz was actually launched in 2005 by Yuriko Koike, the then environment minister, but people didn’t warm to the campaign as they found it sloppy and undignified. Koike said “People have started to grow accustomed to it, with the Cool Biz campaign now being in its sixth year”.

Many local government staff in Tokyo have been starting work an hour early, coming into the office at 7.30am and leaving at 4.15pm, in an attempt to save power and exploit the early daylight hours, by using less air conditioning and lights in the office.

Different industries have also joined forces to save power. Japan’s carmakers have agreed to have Thursdays and Fridays off as their break and work on Saturdays and Sundays instead in order to avoid power shortages by using energy at off-peak times.

Japan’s government has also advised households to unplug electrical appliances when not in use, raise temperatures on their refrigerators and use electric fans instead of air conditioners.