Energy-saving efforts wane as blackout fears ebb: survey

JIJI

The public is less willing to save electricity to protect the environment than it was two years ago because fears of power shortages are apparently receding, a government survey says.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster precipitated the use of rolling blackouts and other widespread conservation efforts in 2011 as Tokyo Electric Power Co. struggled to deal with the loss of the major nuclear power plant after a triple core meltdown.

The Cabinet Office survey, released Saturday, asked 3,000 adults from July 24 to Aug. 3 about environmental protection measures they would like to take, allowing multiple answers. Around 61.1 percent submitted valid responses.

Of the respondees, 60.7 percent said they wanted to save power, adjust thermostats to less comfortable settings or take other measures to curb global warming, dropping from 71.9 percent in the previous survey in June 2012.

So-called eco-friendly products also took a hit, sliding to 36.9 percent from 47.4 percent.

Asked about wildlife conservation, 52.7 percent of the respondents said they would like to donate money to the cause, while 21.8 percent said they wanted to participate in activities to raise public awareness of the issue. It is unclear what the tallies were in the previous report.