Tepco’s clients less wary of shortage threat

JIJI

Fewer people in the Tokyo area cut back on air conditioner use to save electricity last summer compared with 2011, an online survey conducted by a Mizuho Financial Group think tank says.

Power conservation dropped to 68 percent in 2012 from 80 percent in the months just after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster erupted, the survey by Mizuho Information & Research Institute said.

The survey from September 2011 to September 2012 queried customers of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and drew valid responses from 725 people in 2011 and 512 in 2012.

The survey said the proportion of residents who raised their thermostats fell slightly to 83 percent from 85 percent the year before.

In summer 2011, 62 percent said they tried to keep refrigerators less full to save power, but that fell to 57 percent in 2012.

Nevertheless, over 90 percent of the respondents continued to turn off lights when they weren’t being used in 2012.

Power-saving is waning as more people are starting to think the scale of the much-publicized shortages caused by the loss of nuclear power after 3/11 isn’t serious, said Kazuya Fujiwara, a consultant at the think tank.

Much of the threat has since been offset by thermal power generation.