Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-023
The government’s cancellation of summer time electricity curbs (“Summer electricity restrictions lifted,” Japan Times, September 10, 2011) does not free us from the necessity of continuing to save electricity in these difficult times. Next, we face renewed energy reduction and savings quotas for the cold winter season when energy use will surge in pursuit of heat. The withdrawal of the national power-saving edict in September might have gone largely unnoticed because saving energy may already have begun to become so ingrained in the public mind that it’s here to stay regardless of what the energy situation is.
But as winter approaches my imagination is returning once again to the issue of home insulation, which seems to be a scarce or misunderstood commodity here. Although I livein a modest apartment, my home at least shares this with the most expensive and elegant homes in Japan: it lacks sufficient insulation. From an engineering perspective even palatial Japanese homes are about as comfortable as an old garden shed because of this shortcoming. That is what Japanese homes are to me - sheds.
Proper insulation can do a lot to save energy, unless using less electricity is actually the last thing that TEPCO and other utility companies want in these economic times, which may be weirdly plausible. Insulation will help keep our homes cool in summer and warm in winter. So I hope that one long-term result of the March 11 earthquake disaster may be an improvement in all building specs, not just earthquake resistance.
Published on Thursday, November 10, 2011 as “Equality of housing insulation.”
The paper edited this one a little bit, but not significantly. I was surprised that my reference to the September 10th story about the rescinding of the summer time energy restrictions was deleted. I think it makes a good point, a valid point that many foreigners may agree with.
Just by coincidence, a couple weeks later The Daily Yomiuri printed a story on page three on exactly this topic, “Insulated windows draw heated interest for winter,” Tuesday, November 22, 2011.
“Power-saving measures kick in” (Japan Times, Tuesday, July 3, 2012) reported the reinstitution of “government-imposed electricity-saving targets.`