During a large part of the year, the weather in Japan cannot be called comfortable – winter is cold, and summer is hot and humid. However, these seasons could become even less comfortable if the Japanese government’s new plan is implemented, reports Japan Today.
At a meeting on November 2, the subcommittee on energy saving of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry decided to start discussions in a working group with the aim of obtaining the possibility of remote shutdown of private air conditioners and heaters. The goal is to reduce energy use during an expected shortfall, which the committee says is a growing concern as Japan tries to shift to renewable energy sources such as solar, where the amount of energy produced can depend on the daily climate, making it difficult to stabilize the total amount available. electricity. The ministry notes that the use of air conditioners accounts for about 30% of electricity consumption by households in Japan.
From a technical point of view, the implementation of the plan will not be particularly difficult. Japanese air conditioners often allow the owner to turn the system on and off or adjust temperature settings via remote access. By asking manufacturers to extend such access to government regulatory agencies, and by providing those agencies with control interception capabilities, the plan could easily be implemented for Internet-connected air conditioners. Water heaters, by the way, are another household appliance that the committee seeks to regulate.
The initiative did not receive much enthusiasm from users, because death from heat stroke is not uncommon in Japan, and recently 79 people died from the heat in Tokyo alone. So Japanese officials are now working under the concept that the government will only be able to turn off air conditioners if their owners consent to such powers in advance.