Japanese Companies Redefine Work Week To Save Energy

A few weeks ago, I reported on a Japanese program that encourages professionals to save electricity by wearing Hawaiian shirts, T-shirts and sandals to work instead of the usual stuffy three-piece suits.

Now it seems that in the wake of energy shortages caused by the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, some Japanese companies are redefining the work week in order to stagger energy consumption peaks and troughs.

Environmental Leader reports that “Casio Computer Co. will redefine employee weekends as Sundays and Wednesdays, starting July 6, in order to stagger its energy consumption peaks and troughs. Candy maker Morinaga & Co. has asked workers to start and end their day an hour earlier, so they work in cooler weather.” And many employers are asking staff to take longer summer vacations, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Fearing further risk to human and environmental health, the government of Japan ordered many of its nuclear reactors to be switched off until progress could be made in fortifying them against another natural disaster. While this decision to abandon nuclear energy was made with the support of the Japanese people, the country is now left wondering how it will supply power for its millions of citizens through the hot summer months.

The government has ordered a 15 percent cut in electricity use in the Tokyo and Tohoku regions starting July 1, to avoid blackouts. As a result, elevators and escalators have been stopped in train stations and offices; convenience stores and some vending machines have turned off their lights; and many offices are setting their thermostats to 82 F (EL).

Related Reading:

After Fukushima, Japan Reconsiders Geothermal Power

Animals Are Starving In The Fukushima No-Go Zone (Video)

5 Wild Animals You Can Protect On Your Next Vacation

Photo by Official U.S. Navy Imagery


K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Judith Corrigan
Judith Corrigan6 years ago

Interesting ideas,it may be worth keeping an eye on the situation to see what works and what doesn't so that other countries can implement them.

Lindsey Williams
Lindsey W6 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Dana W.
Dana W6 years ago

It's sad that it took a nuclear disaster for Japan to take energy conservation measures. I think other countries should follow some of these guidelines as well. As for turning off the lights, what about switching to more efficient light bulbs?

Abbe A.
Azaima A6 years ago

very creative

David Hansen
David Hansen6 years ago

@ marsha,
They have been working on a flywheel storage device but no way near mainstream yet.

Masha Samoilova
Past Member 6 years ago

little things help but it seems that to even out energy peaks and troughs you need a way to store excess power at night with batteries that is then used in the day and variable pricing would be an incentive

Sumit jamadar
Sumit jamadar6 years ago


Marie W.
Marie W6 years ago

Could the fact 2 reactors aren't working have something to do with it?

Charles B.
Charles B6 years ago

Thank you Beth.