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Saving energy at home

Due to the effects of the East Japan Great Earthquake, a shortage of electricity is expected during this summer. Arun, who works at an IT firm in Tokyo, talks with his wife Mari about how his company is trying to save energy.

Arun
Our company is going to start a telecommuting system as part of its energy conservation efforts. The office uses more electricity for air conditioning during the summer, so the new system should help cut down the energy use at the office.
Mari
We should do our own part at home and should not waste any power. I know we are asked to reduce our use of electricity by 15%. What do you think we can do to achieve this?
Arun
First of all, we should remember to turn off lights in the rooms nobody is using. We should also unplug electric appliances when not in use. We can save standby energy by turning off the main power of the TV set. It is also good that we make it habit to turn off the TV right after the program we wanted to watch finishes.
Mari
The appliances that uses the most electricity in our house are air conditioners. Before turning them on, we should first dress cool, open the windows to let the air flow throughout the house, and then determine if we still need the air conditioners.
Arun
I agree. But trying to be too patient for the heat may not be good for your health. We need to be creative to be both energy efficient and healthy. How about setting the temperature at 28 degrees for the air conditioner and using fans at the same time?
Mari
We can keep the room cool more efficiently by using screens or curtains for the windows.
Arun
How about the temperature setting for the refrigerator?
Mari
I have turned down the setting from the highest to the medium. I am going to clean and organize the inside of the fridge so that I can find what I need more easily. This way, I only have to leave the fridge door open for a minimum time.
Arun
More stuff in the fridge means more power used by the fridge. Do you want to go through the fridge now and see if there is anything we should get rid of?
Mari
Sure. Can you also help me clean the filters of the air conditioners? I heard that they use more energy when the filters are clogged.

After finishing the cleaning of the fridge and air conditioners, Arun and Mari continue to discuss how they can save more electricity.

Arun
I heard that it is important that we should try to save electricity during the day, between 9AM to 8PM, and especially between 2PM and 3PM when the consumption of the power reaches its peak.
Mari
We probably should avoid using the washing machine and vacuum cleaner during those hours too. We can cook rice in the early morning for the rest of the day. There should be more energy-saving ways for the housework I do.
Arun
If all of us in the family stay together in one room whenever possible, we can also save power by avoiding using lights, air conditioners, and TVs in different rooms.
Mari
Thinking about how to save energy is also a good chance to review our lifestyle.
Arun
Let's try what we have talked about this summer and continue to do what we can do to contribute to the energy conservation.
Mari
We should have fun and enjoy!

For information about saving electricity and reducing power usage, please visit the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry website (in Japanese): http://www.meti.go.jp/setsuden/index.html