Setsuden– (meaning “energy conservation” or “brown-outs” ) is the catch phrase this summer. The Kanto area ( Tokyo and surrounding prefectures), as well as the Tohoku region have plans to use less energy this summer in efforts to make up for the lost power from the inactive Daiichi reactors. The plans involve cooperation from government entities, businesses and individuals.
The government buildings are reducing A/C usage, allowing employees to wear cooler, more casual clothing, closing off non-essential escalators and elevators, and cutting lighting and electrical usage. Businesses are asked to rotate shifts to either start earlier in the cooler morning hours or end later to take the stress off the afternoon peaktimes. Individuals have been given suggestions in their power bills such as lower usual temperatures, use fans instead of A/C, grow green curtains on verandas to lower temperatures inside. Elderly are suggested to seek coolness in public libraries and enjoy reading and quiet time.
Japan experienced the hottest summer on record last year, so if general global trends continue as they have, we expect a long, hot, wet, summer (high humidity). In addition cities like Tokyo experience the urban island effect, where concrete and buildings increase the temperatures. Are these signs of coming attractions for other countries as well? Even without an earthquake, Japan as well as the US are bound to encounter not enough energy to survive peak seasons. So, I thought I’d share some survival tools with you (see picture). Just in case. Items in picture are necessities for surviving Setsuden.
Fan-for at home and one for traveling
Handkerchief to wipe the sweat
Ice cream-for pleasure
Allow plenty of time to get where you are going and pace yourself with breaks along the way. Cheers!