Winter power-saving campaign begins

TOKYO —

A campaign to conserve power across the country began on Monday. The government is requesting all prefectures, except Okinawa, to cut back on power use to avert possible electricity shortages this winter due to all but two nuclear power plants being offline.

Hokkaido is the only prefecture to have a numerical target imposed on it. Hokkaido Electric Co expects to have a small margin of surplus generating capacity that might be overwhelmed if demand for heating spikes during winter, when temperatures plummet. Hokkaido’s sole nuclear plant has been shut indefinitely since earlier this year. 

The government is asking companies and households to cut power consumption by 7% on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until March 8. The cuts are voluntary. For other regions, the government has asked for power conservation until March 29.
 
This is the 4th power-saving request made by the government since the March 11, 2011 disaster. It is predicted that the winter power supply will be higher than that of summer due to the power interchange between utilities. However, the government wants the power saving campaign to continue in the event of unexpected trouble, such as a major glitch in the geothermal power system.

Japan Today

  • -1

    some14some

    The government is asking companies and households to cut power consumption by 7%

    and same govt is likely to approve rise in elec charges by more than 15% !

  • 0

    Matt

    Another way of increasing illness in a 'guman' elderly society. My school is soooooooo cold!

  • 1

    papigiulio

    Summer energy conservation ok, winter. Sorry but no can do. brrrrrr

  • -1

    Marilita Fabie-Fujisawa

    This is weird...when the entire world goes to daylight savings in the summer, Japan asks to cut down on power supply in the winter...who wants to come home in a freezing house? Why can they be the opposite of evrything? Sorry, I won't, I will continue to heat up my house till it makes me sweat! this campaign or whatever you want tk call it should be imposed more during the summer when all electricity goes full blast even on high noon!!! Pchinko paroles is one main waste of such...comvenieng stores is second!!! Sorry, but I will not co-operate on this.

  • 1

    tairitsuiken

    @papigiulio

    You can do it! A big portion of "gaman", some "shoganai", hot baths at night, bulk up with those thick nylon jackets all the obaasan like to wear and finally, not to forget, hot water bottles on you futon before bed. Yessiree!

    Alternatively, "eco" loving Japan could get with the times and build houses that keep an indoor temperature above 14°C.

  • 2

    Herve Nmn L'Eisa

    A good starting point is heaters set to no higher than 18゜C. Layer your clothing. Seal cracks and install weatherstripping. Rubber-backed carpet works very well to keep cold floors warmer. Buck up, and wear a nice sweater!

  • 0

    cleo

    I will continue to heat up my house till it makes me sweat!

    You'll spend money making your home environment uncomfortable, just to avoid 'co-operation' that might prevent some poor soul on a ventilator having their power cut off? Takes all kinds, I suppose.

    We've cut back drastically on power use summer and winter since 3/11 - an average of well over 15% per month in the first year. I doubt there's much left to cut. The house is comfortably warm, I see no need to sweat in winter.

  • 2

    Frungy

    Keep a pot of water on a low boil. This may sound like an odd suggestion, but water vapour keeps heat much more readily than dry air, and escapes less slowly. Plus it'll stop you getting nasty dry skin in the winter.

  • 4

    lucabrasi

    I will continue to heat up my house till it makes me sweat!

    Reminds me of an Australian bloke I knew who thought that the Japanese tradition of taking off your shoes before entering a house was "stupid", and made a point of wandering around his tatami-floored apartment in muddy boots. For some reason, nobody liked him very much....

  • 5

    slumdog

    Keep a pot of water on a low boil. This may sound like an odd suggestion, but water vapour keeps heat much more readily than dry air, and escapes less slowly. Plus it'll stop you getting nasty dry skin in the winter.

    Yes, but if you are not careful, you will have a huge case of mold from the resulting humidity.

  • 0

    zichi

    There wasn't a single power cut during the hot summer, there will be none during the winter too except maybe in Hokkaido which built too many all electric houses and apartments. They need to install some other means of heating.

  • 1

    jojo_in_japan

    I find it ironic that Tokyo Tower is still light up till 5.30am. Is that not a waste of power?

  • 1

    jojo_in_japan

    And we need daylight savings!

  • -3

    basroil

    It is predicted that the winter power supply will be higher than that of summer due to the power interchange between utilities.

    Actually has nothing to do with that and everything to do with Hokkaido having below average hydro-electric. Usually thermal plants are fixed up in summer so they can run all winter.

    However, the government wants the power saving campaign to continue in the event of unexpected trouble, such as a major glitch in the geothermal power system.

    As I've stated before, if ANY of the dozen turbines (mostly steam) stop unexpectedly during peak, Hokkaido WILL have a blackout. It's not an issue of not enough power, it's an issue of each station providing too coarse chunks of power.

    The surplus in winter is expected to be ~5%, which is reasonable, except for the fact it ends up being just 300MW, and several turbines HEPCO uses are above that. Tomato-Atsuma's three units are 350MW, 600MW, and 700MW. Date and Shiriuchi both have two 350MW stations.

    In addition to absolutely necessary stations like those, others like Naie are able to cause blackouts by transmission line failures like what happened at Muroran.

  • 0

    Serrano

    "Keep a pot of water on a low boil"

    And have my gas bill go up?

  • -1

    Nessie

    The dilemma is, you have the choice of wasting gas heating your whole apartment, or using electricity to heat the area where you are.

  • 0

    cleo

    One of the nifty humidifiers you can get anywhere reasonably cheaply these days will keep the air nice and moist, helping keep your heating bills down, keep your skin soft and ward off colds (dry air is a killer for the throat and membranes). They don't use that much power, and are way safer than a pot of water kept on the boil on top of the heater (I don't think Frungy means to use gas just to boil water, Serrano :-)) that could splash hot water everywhere in an earthquake.

    These days most models come with a regulator that stops the air becoming too moist, so mould is not a problem. You can also get things that look like tissue-paper fans that wick moisture out of the container into the air naturally, and so use no power at all. Not sure how effective those are.

    And if you have lots of potted plants in the house, you can stand them on a layer of stones inside the dish the plant pot stands in and keep the stones covered in water that will gradually evaporate and moisten the air naturally. (The stones stops the roots sitting in water half the day and rotting, and also makes watering the plants easier cos you don't have to discard the water that leaks out of the pot).

    And if you have critters there are probably bowls of water around the place anyway.

  • -1

    Nessie

    will keep the air nice and moist, helping keep your heating bills down

    Evidence?

  • -4

    cleo

    Evidence?

    Only my own experience, for what it's worth; with the humidifier on, the room feels more comfortable with the thermostat set a couple of degrees lower than with it off.

    And hey, if it does nothing for the heating bills (I know some folk insist on 24 degrees no matter what), it's worth it for the soft skin and fewer colds/sore throats (again, my own experience).

  • -4

    basroil

    cleoDec. 04, 2012 - 04:50PM JST

    Only my own experience, for what it's worth; with the humidifier on, the room feels more comfortable with the thermostat set a couple of degrees lower than with it off.

    Do you live in Hokkaido?

    Humid air actually makes it easier to transfer heat OUTSIDE (through condensation), and also makes it harder to heat the room (increased thermal capacity).

    While power savings in hot places like Tokyo are easy, you can't save much when it's -15C outside with 40kmph winds and your apartment already has double pane, double glass (total four panes) and basically airtight. Talking about places other than Hokkaido is pointless, since Hokkaido's the only place that ever had to worry about power outages in winter (Winter energy use is usually 20% or more higher than summer peak, and the generation to use difference is smaller than most generation units)

  • 0

    cleo

    Talking about places other than Hokkaido is pointless

    The government is requesting all prefectures, except Okinawa, to cut back on power use

  • -3

    basroil

    cleoDec. 04, 2012 - 05:31PM JST

    The government is requesting all prefectures, except Okinawa, to cut back on power use

    The article NEVER elaborates on the requirements of any of the other prefectures, beyond that they are until 3/27.

    Hokkaido is the only prefecture to have a numerical target imposed on it.

    The government is asking companies and households to cut power consumption by 7% on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until March 8.

    Other places aren't the focus of the article, nor actually important to the conversation because they won't have issues like those Hokkaido faces.

  • -4

    fupayme

    I have my heat on 24/7 and even when Im not there and the kotsu on all the time

    I like my house to be 26degrees C at all times

    Why do we have to cut back? i thought consumption is what the world govts want us to do

  • -2

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    Because you guys refuse to turn the nuke plants back on?

  • 2

    ebisen

    I have my heat 24/7 (electrical) set to 20 degrees C. I have triple pane windows, 20 cm of glasswool insulation in all the exterior walls and 35 cm of glasswhool in my ceiling and under the floors of my house. my electricity costs for the A/C heat, bath water and cooking are never above 11.000 yen/month (no gas). Besides, the solar panels on the roof are covering about 109% of the total yearly consumption, meaning that the house is carbon-negative, producing more than it uses. Anything else makes no point discussing.

  • 1

    zichi

    @ebisen

    you made very wise choices for your family and the environment. That should be the norm, at least with new builds, but sadly, its not the current situation.

  • 0

    lucabrasi

    @fupayme

    26 degrees??! I'd be in a heat-induced coma. Anything higher than 20 and I'm hot and miserable... : (

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