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The government’s cancellation of summertime electricity curbs does not free us from the necessity of continuing to save electricity in these difficult times. Next, we face renewed energy reduction and savings quotas for the cold winter season.

The withdrawal of the national power-saving edict in September might have gone largely unnoticed because saving energy may already have begun to become so ingrained in the public mind that it’s here to stay regardless of what the energy situation is. But as winter approaches, my imagination is returning once again to the issue of home insulation, which seems to be a scarce or misunderstood commodity here. Although I live in a modest apartment, my home at least shares one thing with the most expensive and elegant homes in Japan: It lacks sufficient insulation. From an engineering perspective, even palatial Japanese homes are about as comfortable as an old garden shed because of this shortcoming. That is what Japanese homes are to me — sheds.

Proper insulation can do a lot to save energy, unless using less electricity is the last thing that Tokyo Electric Power Co. and other utility companies want in these economic times. Insulation will help keep our homes cool in summer and warm in winter. So, I hope that one long-term result of the March 11 disaster is an improvement in all building specs, not just earthquake resistance.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

grant piper

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