Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Goverment trying to save energy

Welcome back to JJNN.

Today's article is taken out of the online version of the Mainichi Newspaper.

After the earthquake that occurred in the north east of Japan in March Japan has been facing an energy crisis of a sort. In the month or so after the quake TEPCo (Tokyo Electric Power Company)  implemented daily scheduled power outages so that people would not have to deal with a complete lack of electric power. After a few weeks TEPCo was able to get its old coal fired power plants up and running again to make up for the energy difference and the scheduled power outages were stopped.

That is fine for now, but there is still a major problem looming on the horizon. That problem would be the heat of summer and the rampant use of air conditioners. Now, I am not telling the people of Japan that they shouldn't use air conditioners to cool down their houses (I hate the heat so I use an air conditioner any chance I can in the summer time), but the use of power may lead to brownouts in Japan's current state.

That is where Japan's Ministry of the Environment comes in. They have a goal of decreasing Japan's weekday power consumption by 25 percent in total. They decided that the best place to start was the many city halls and town halls throughout Japan. From July they have asked the city halls to take one day off during the week and instead work on Saturday. Sunday will be a day off like it always has been.

It's an interesting solution, but I wonder if it will really work. The people that run the town halls have to work with many other groups that do not normally work on a Saturday. In other words, even if a particular department was told to take the day off, they might not be able to because they could not make the necessary work contracts on Saturday. It seems a lot of people that work in the city offices wonder if the plan will actually work.

It is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 電気(でんき). It is pronounced denki and it means electricity. Those scheduled power outages were a pain, but at least we knew they were coming.


  1. I don't see how that would work. They would just use AC on a Saturday instead of a Tuesday.

  2. That's true, but they won't be using the energy at the same time as everyone else. In theory if the power usage is spread out the power stations will be able to keep up with demand.