Hot weather and saving power

This past week the sun busted out from its cloudy rainy season cover and we reached the 30 degree mark. (high 80s in Fahrenheit). And it was muggy, oh so muggy. We were all falling about exhausted. The kids were coming home with empty drink bottles and sweat dripping off them. Our ice maker couldn't keep up with demand. What a relief we had cloud and rain yesterday to drop the temperature back down again.

Don't you have air conditioning, I hear you ask. Yes, we do BUT we've been asked to conserve energy.

Households in the Osaka area are being asked to reduce power consumption by fifteen percent from now until the end of September (following power plant closures after the earthquake). I thought it might make a difference if I unplugged all unused or infrequently-used appliances. Like the numerous phone extensions around the house (nobody ever calls me so do I need them?). I thought it might help if we used less lighting in the house. No outside lights at night for instance. I even decided that I would hibernate my computer for most of the day.

I did a quick online search to see if these things are effective. At most I think we are reducing 5% of our consumption if we're really strict about leaving things switched off rather than on standby.

I do think we use less power than some people. I don't use hot water in my washing machine. I rarely use the dryer. For cooking and water we have gas. We get plenty of natural daylight from our large windows. I have a new-ish and quite efficient refrigerator. Even my microwave oven does not have a clock in order to save power.

The biggest guzzler of electricity is cooling. So far we've been getting by with fans and open windows. Oh and when I'm here alone I might be partially undressed. (not pretty!)

It's up to each household to do its part and we will really try. Any suggestions for keeping cool and/or cutting power usage?


  1. Maybe try putting a bowl of icecubes in front of a fan? Though that won't help with your ice production woes and is only temporary

  2. We haven't used our airconditioning for over 10 years now and although when my husband comes home he tends to sweat in front of the fan the rest of us have kind of grown used to being sweaty! When I am home alone I am definitely lightly clothed (but have a t-shirt very close by for when random visitors come!) and have started using a wet towel around my neck when I am gardening. It actually makes a huge difference.
    Good luck with your conserving!

  3. learn to use the timer on everything, the electricity is cheaper and in less demand at night so our washing goes on at night, the breadmamker, the rice cooker 'sometimes, we don't eat much rice). I don't feel guilty using the aircon since we have solar panels, I do try and hold out until the afternnon, by the time the sun moves round the the front of the house it is like an oven.

  4. bread maker not breadmamker!!

  5. goodluck Jacqui! reading your post reminded me of just how hot and sweaty those Japan Summers are. I remember not being able to sleep unless I flicked the aircon on at 3am in the morning. I wonder why I had no clothes from Tom to pass on to Aiya from when he was around 1 and then I remember he only lived in singlets and nappies during the summer! I wish I had words of wisdom for you but just a "ganbatte kudasi" :D think about how lovely Autumn is when it blows its first mild winds!

  6. some great tips, thank you everyone!! we're managing so far and I have big news as to how we'll fare in August ...

  7. oooh, I wonder where you are going for obon!!! :D ????

  8. the cat's out of the bag Claire :) fancy a cross-Tasman rendezvous?

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