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Energy Reducing Tips

Author:Shaney Crawford, Issue: January 2003, Topic: Electricity

Heating and Air Conditioning Appliances
1. Take out the plug when you are not using heating and air conditioning appliances (especially during the off season).
2. Clean the air filter regularly.
3. Raising or lowering the temperature setting by even one degree will make a difference.
4. Use curtains or blinds to keep the sun out (summer), and the heat in (winter).
5. Use electric carpets and heated tables (kotatsu) when possible instead of air conditioners.

Refrigerators
6. Change the settings on your refrigerator according to the season (high in the summer, lower in the winter).
7. Let foods cool before putting them into the fridge.
8. Don't open the fridge door more than necessary.
9. If you can fit a business card between the door and the fridge (when the door is closed), you need to replace the sealant.
10. There should be nothing on top of your fridge. There should be 10 cm between the back of your fridge and the wall. There should be 2 cm between sides of your fridge and anything beside it.
11. Don't pack your fridge too full and make sure to throw out items that are past their best before date.
12. If you fridge is always full, it may be cheaper in the long run to buy a bigger fridge.

Lighting
13. Turn off lights that you aren't using.
14. Change fluorescent lights when the edges turn black.
15. Use fluorescent lamps rather than regular lamps.

Television
16. Turn off the TV when you are not watching it.
17. Lower the brightness and colour settings on your TV to a reasonable level.
18. Buy a TV with a smaller rather than larger screen.

Laundry
19. Use hot bathwater (after everyone has finished their Japanese-style bath) to do laundry.
20. Wait until you have a full load before doing laundry.
21. Use the speed course rather than the regular course if the clothes are not very dirty.
22. Only use the dryer when you have a proper load, not just individual items.
23. Use the washing machine to spin wet clothes as dry as possible before putting them into the dryer.
24. Clean the filter on the dryer regularly.
25. If you take your clothes out of the washer and hang them immediately, you may not need to iron them later.

Rice Cookers and Water Heaters
26. Don't leave rice on "keep warm" mode for longer than 6 hours.
27. Pick rice cookers and water heaters (for tea) that are a reasonable size for your household.
28. Use a water heater (for tea) that lets you choose the "keep warm" setting, and put it on the lowest setting.

Vacuum Cleaners
29. Dust and sweep before using the vacuum cleaner.
30. Set vacuum cleaners on low for curtains, medium for flooring or tatami, and high for carpets.
31. Vacuum carpets slowly and carefully, paying attention to the places where people walk the most. Vacuum flooring and tatami quickly, but pay more attention to the edges of the room and the places where people don't walk.

Bathroom
32. If you use a heated toilet seat, keep the lid down.
33. Turn the heated toilet seat off when you are not home.
34. Change the settings according to the season.

Cellular Phones
35. Unplug the recharger when you are not using it, and remove the phone from the charger as soon as it is finished charging.

General
36. Unplug all devices that you do not use regularly, especially CD players, VCRs, faxes, answering machines, as they use a lot of energy even when not in use.
37. Unplug as many devices as possible when you will not be home for a long time.
38. Choose homes or apartments that have insulation and a southern exposure.

Summarized and translated from the Tepco (Tokyo Denryoku) handbook on saving energy by Shaney Crawford.

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