In late June this year, temperatures in Japan reached sweltering record highs. And, amidst a power shortage, the Japanese government called on households and businesses to reduce their energy consumption for the first time in seven years. To help conserve power, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) raised temperatures at its facilities to 26C from the standard setting of 25C. SoftBank also asked its employees to unplug unused appliances during peak times of electricity consumption. SB Power Corp., a SoftBank subsidiary that provides electrical supply services, also offered a game-like app free-of-charge to customers so they can win PayPay points by taking up small missions to save energy.
Small changes lead to big power savings
With the high likelihood of hot summer temperatures in Japan and other parts of the world continuing, it is now more important than ever to conserve electricity to avoid a power crunch. Here are some tips to reduce electricity usage at home.
Since lighting fixtures are used every day, simply switching to more energy-efficient types can help save electricity. LED light bulbs are said to consume about 20% of the power of incandescent bulbs, and they last longer. If you’re still using incandescent bulbs, why not take this opportunity to switch your home lighting to LEDs and reduce your electricity bill?
- Air conditioning
Air conditioner electricity usage can be reduced by simply by raising the temperature setting by one degree, from 27 to 28 degrees Celsius, for example. Switching on the air conditioner and quickly raising or lowering the temperature is known to consume electricity. One way to save energy is by complementing an air conditioner with an air circulator or fan to circulate cool air around a room. Frequently turning the air conditioner on and off can be counterproductive, so leaving the air conditioner on when stepping out for 20 to 30 minutes can actually save energy.
Regularly cleaning an air conditioner filter, ideally once every two weeks, can also help reduce power consumption. Placing objects near the air conditioner outdoor unit's vents reduce the effectiveness of cooling, so it’s a good idea to check the surroundings of the outdoor unit.
It is a good idea to space items apart in a refrigerator so that cold air can circulate easily, and to have food take up about 70-80% of the refrigerator room space. Also, when storing cooked food, allow it to cool before placing it in the refrigerator. When food is put in a refrigerator when still hot, the temperature inside the refrigerator rises, and this means extra energy is needed to cool it down.
Since frozen foods cool each other in the freezer, it is best to have a full freezer to save energy.
To save water and power, it’s easy to think that filling up a washing machine with large loads of laundry is a good idea. However, if the washing machine is too full, detergent cannot soak into fabrics properly and stain removal is less effective. That means more washings and higher electricity and water bills. To avoid this, it is best to limit the amount of laundry to about 70-80% of the drum’s capacity. Also, as with air conditioners, it is a good idea to clean the washing machine drum and its filters regularly.
Also, unplugging appliances that are not being used for long periods of time will save even more power by eliminating the need to use power on standby.
The above are small things we can do, but taken together, they can make a big difference and help us avoid a power crunch. To save energy, why not put these tips into practice today?
(Posted on July 8, 2022)
by SoftBank News Editors