Created for expats living in Japan

Energy Saving Checklist - How to Save Money on Electricity in Japan

This article is originally posted by Hinatao Energy in Japanese, translated by Japan Living Guide.

The first day of every month is 'Energy Saving Day'. Why not reevaluate what you can do to conserve energy save money on electricity? Here are some Energy-Saving Checkpoints that you may like to overlook in your daily life, in a list format for each area in your home.

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Energy-Saving Checklist for the Living Room

Living room where the whole family spends time together uses many kinds of electrical appliances. You can start saving energy by doing small things such as unplugging them when they are not in use.

Energy-saving checklist for an air conditioner / heater

1) Is the room temperature set at 28°C during summer?

2) Is the room temperature set at 20 °C during winter?

3) Is the air conditioner / heating turned on only when necessary?

4) Are the filters cleaned once or twice a month?

5) Do you use lace curtains or drapes to block out the sun's rays?

6) Do you use a fan or a circulator?

7) Are there any disturbing objects placed around the outdoor unit?

Many people are concerned about their electricity bills, especially during the hot summer and cold winter months when an air-conditioning / heating is in great demand. There are various things you can do to save energy.

Energy-saving checklist for lightings

1) Are incandescent lamps replaced by LED lamps?

2) Is the lighting time kept to a minimum? 

3) Are lighting equipments cleaned frequently?

Switching lightings that are used for long hours to energy-saving lightings will increase savings. If you have lighting equipments that have not been converted to bulb LED lamps, it is a good idea to replace them. It is important to clean the lightings frequently, as dirty covers and shades reduce the brightness.

Energy-saving checklist for a TV

1) Do you switch off the TV when not watching?

2) Do you switch off the mains power supply as much as possible?

3) Is the TV unplugged when away for a long period?

4) Is the screen brightness adjusted?

5) Do you clean the screen at least once a week?

6) Do you also switch off the TV after gaming?

Do you leave the TV on even if no one is watching it? It is important to switch off the TV frequently to save energy. If possible, switch off the TV from the main power. If you are away for a long period, for example on vacation, unplug it to reduce the standby power to zero. The brighter the screen, the more electricity it costs. If you feel that the screen is too dark, clean the screen first before brightening it.

Energy-saving checklist for a vacuum cleaner

1) Is the vacuum cleaner being used after the room has been tidied up?

2) Are the dust collection packs replaced regularly?

If the room is messy, it takes longer to vacuum so clean up the room first and then vacuum. Using a vacuum cleaner with a full dust collection pack would costs you more electricity than using a new pack. Do not forget to replace it as necessary.

Energy-saving checklist for the kitchen

The refrigerator is considered to be the largest consumer of electricity in the home. Various other electrical appliances are used in the kitchen. In addition to the electricity, gas and water also need to be well energy-efficient.

Energy-saving checklist for a refrigerator

1) Is the refrigerator not overloaded?

2) Is the refrigerator being opened and closed too often unnecessarily?

3) Is the time that the door is open kept short? 

4) Is the temperature set appropriately?

5) Is the refrigerator installed at an appropriate distance from the wall?

6) Are hot items cooled before storing?

7) Are the storage units tidy?

If you put reshly made curry or anything hot in the fridge, the temperature of the entire compartment rises and extra energy is consumed to cool it down. It is also very important to organize the inside of the fridge. The refrigerator should be stuffed as little as possible, so that the temperature does not rise, and also you spend less time to search for items, thereby reducing energy consumption.

Energy efficiency checklist for a gas water heater

1) Is the temperature set to low when washing dishes?

2) When boiling water, do you use warm water instead of cold water?

The key to using a gas water heater is to change the temperature setting according to the purpose. Check that the temperature is set to a low temperature when washing dishes. Also, leaving the water running when washing dishes consumes a lot of energy. Soak the dishes in water before washing, or wipe off dirt with a spatula or paper/cloth before washing, to further reduce the amount of hot water.

Energy-saving checklist for an electric kettle

1) Is the plug unplugged when not in use for long periods of time?

2) Is the temperature control set at a lower temperature?

Once water is boiled, electric kettles tend to be left on for long periods of time. Remember to unplug when not in use for long hours. Keep the water at a low temperature when you would like to keep the water warm. It is more energy-efficient to re-boil the water each time as it is needed.

Energy-saving checklist for a bathroom, toilet and washing machine

Check energy savings for a bath, toilet and washing machine.

Energy-saving checklist for a bath water heater

1) Do you leave the shower running unnecessarily?

2) Is the bath tab lid kept on?

Leaving the shower running unnecessarily can double your gas and water bills, so everyone in the family should be aware of this. A hairdryer uses a lot of energy as well. You can reduce the time to dry your hair by towel-drying before using the hairdryer.

Energy-saving checklist for a heated-seat toilet / washlet

1) Is the lid closed when not in use?

2) Is the temperature of the toilet seat heating set to low?

3) Is the temperature of the cleaning water set low?

The toilet lid should be kept closed when not in use. Adjust the temperature according to a season as well.

Energy-saving checklist for a washing machine

1) Do you wash your laundry in one load as much as possible?

2) Do you use remaining bath water?

3) Do you use the right amount of detergent?

Washing in batches will reduce electricity and water bills. You can also save water by reusing leftover bath water if that is possible. Adding extra detergent does not increase cleaning performance, and it just increases the amount of water to rinse off.

Why not use Energy Saving Day as an opportunity to review your electricity bill?

On the occasion of Energy Conservation Day on the first of every month, check if you are carrying out the checkpoints introduced in this article. Saving energy is not only good for the environment, but can also reduce your electricity, gas and water bills.

HINATAO ENERGY provides their services in English. Please contact them if you would like to find out more about their services.