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18 January 2012

Rise in Awareness of Electricity Conservation, Home Solar Power Systems Seen after Earthquake in Japan

Image by okadots. Some Rights Reserved.

Housing Company, part of the Sekisui Chemical Group, released on August 18, 2011, the results of its post-disaster survey targeting owners of photovoltaic (PV) power generation systems. In the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake in March, having encountered power supply failures and rolling blackouts in many areas, respondents showed that they had greater awareness the capacity of their PV systems to provide a supply of electricity for their own use on fine weather days. (The systems are normally set to provide power directly to the power grid instead of for the owner's own use.)

According to the survey, 80 percent of respondents "knew how to use a PV system in the stand-alone mode," while those who actually switched to this mode accounted for 67 percent in quake-hit areas and 33 percent in areas hits by rolling blackouts. Among those who used the stand-alone mode, the majority (86%) said used the power to charge mobile phones, followed by rice cookers (51%), and televisions (40%). Some also reported that sharing electricity with neighbors contributed to better neighbourly relations.

Meanwhile, the Group's Housing Environment Institute released on August 22, 2011, the results of its survey on awareness and electricity conservation behavior of PV users after the earthquake. The results show that more people were eager to save electricity afterwards compared to the same survey conducted before the quake, in January 2011.

The survey also showed (1) that people tended to more actively try to save electricity after the earthquake; (2) that compared with the general population, PV users reported having lower stress about power-saving efforts and saved most power at peak power consumption times of the day; (3) that interest in PVs has been increasing, especially in eastern Japan; and (4) that interest in storage batteries and learning life skills for power-saving have been boosted.

Sekisui Chemical Achieves Record with Home Photovoltaic Installations (Related JFS article)

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