Japanese Trends in Household Energy Consumption
Several factors can contribute to changes in supply and demand related to household energy consumption in Japanese households. Among these are governmental policies, are traditional Japanese lifestyles, relative energy prices, climatic conditions, differences in building construction, and inefficient technologies. In Japan, energy consumption per household has increased by nearly 220% since 1965. This is contrary to the energy per household usage in other developed countries. Studies have shown that many developed countries have stabilized and even managed to reduce much of their residential energy consumption. So why has Japan seen such a tremendous increase in their household energy consumption? “The main reason for this is that Japanese living standards have been and still are logging behind those of developed nations. Other factors, which explain differences in household energy use, are climatic conditions, traditional lifestyles, relative energy prices, differences in building stock and so on. (Nakagami, Tanaka, Murakoshi, & Ishihara, 2006-2007)” Widespread circulation and distribution of energy efficient technologies for cooking, heating, lighting, electrical appliances, and building insulation in developing countries progresses more slowly than that of developed countries. This means that most of the buildings in Japan are inefficient in regard to heating and air conditioning. Moreover, the heating and cooling systems that are used are less capable than those in other developed countries are. Japanese Governmental policies do not appear to reflect the true economics (“The study of how human beings coordinate their wants and desires, given the decision-making mechanisms, social customs, and political realities of the society (Colander, 2004)”) of this rapidly developing country. Perhaps the government could develop policies that would subsidize manufacturing of more energy efficient appliances. Policies such...
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