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Demand-side Efforts for CO2 Reduction

In Japan, the energy demand for water heating constitutes about 30% of the total energy demand in the household sector, and so energy-saving and CO2 reduction measures in this area are very important. Electric power companies have been working hard to develop and promote electric appliances and systems to reduce CO2 emissions. One example is EcoCute, a water heating system with a heat pump that uses CO2 as refrigerant.

EcoCute heats water by transferring the thermal energy in air, which is freely available, to water by means of refrigerant. With a single unit of electric energy for heat pump operation and two units of thermal energy from air, it produces three units of thermal energy.

Thanks to this principle, CO2 emissions are cut by about 50% compared with conventional combustion type water heaters. Because of this advantage, the government and industry are jointly promoting the use of heat pump systems as a key means of preventing global warming in the consumer sector (household and commercial sectors).

When heat pump systems fully penetrate the consumer and industrial sectors, the resulting CO2 emissions in Japan, which is about 1.4 billion tons-CO2.

EcoCute Heat Pump Unit (left) and Hot Water Storage Tank

Electric Vehicle Deployment Plan

The electric power companies of Japan have been working hard to achieve full-scale commercialization of environmentally-efficient electric vehicles, such as conducting driving tests and developing new fast battery chargers with automobile manufacturers. And also, efforts are being made to increase the use of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles as commercial vehicles.

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