Govt asks businesses, households to save power this winter

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The government said Tuesday that it will ask businesses and households to save electricity as much as possible between December and March next year, without setting a numerical goal.

The government sees the need to be vigilant about electricity supply this winter, although the reserve rate, or the margin of supply capacity over demand, is expected to be above the minimum required level of 3% nationwide.

Concerns about electricity shortages this winter are strong amid fears about a possible suspension of liquefied natural gas flows from Russia.

Industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura called for cooperation from businesses and households. “We need to act to ensure that stable electricity supply is not disrupted,” he said at a press conference.

It is the government’s first nationwide power-saving request in winter since fiscal 2015, following a similar request this summer.

The government calls on people to wear clothes in layers even indoors and reduce the unnecessary use of lighting.

Power utilities will give extra points that can be used for shopping to households and businesses that saved electricity as requested.

If all households reduce electricity use by 1%, the amount of power consumed by about 15,000 convenience stores per day can be saved, according to the industry ministry.