OSAKA — Manufacturers of home appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators are making them more energy-efficient, and some products save more than 80 percent on power costs compared with 10 years ago, according to industry officials.
The move follows an industry rule of thumb that if manufacturers reduce their products’ energy consumption, they will control more of the market, they said.
This has spurred development of energy-saving technology, they said Monday.
For example, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. will launch a 458-liter refrigerator in October that only requires 200 kwh of power a year, an energy cost of about 4,600 yen.
A decade ago, the firm produced refrigerators of the same size that ran on 1,190 kwh a year, at an energy cost of about 27,000 yen. The new Matsushita product cuts energy expenses by 40 percent compared with appliances from a year ago, company officials said.
The company reduced energy use by employing newly developed vacuum insulating materials to heighten insulation in the goods.
Meanwhile, air conditioners made by Daikin Industries Ltd. that can cover 17 sq. meters consume about 21,500 yen worth of electricity a year. Units made 10 years ago consumed about 62,000 yen worth.
Daikin redesigned its compressors to make them more efficient and powered the motors with magnetic fields, company officials said.
Use of information technology is expected to save more energy in the future, according to the industry officials. Some estimate that if all appliances in a household make full use of IT, it could save 20 percent on energy bills.
Appliance makers are rushing to produce IT-based appliances, including products that can be turned on and off with cellular phones, the officials said.
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