All this heat here in Vancouver’s got me thinking… what about Japan?
In 2005, The Japanese Ministry of the Environment (MOE) began advocating the Cool Biz campaign as a means to help reduce electric consumption by limiting use of air conditioning. According to the Environment Ministry, central government ministries were to set air conditioner temperatures at 28°C until September… (more at Wikipedia, HERE.)
People in Japan were encouraged to wear moisture absorbent clothing and sweat it out!
Fast forward to 2009, someone’s figured out that there’s something really wrong with this. (Other than the stench of dead animal emanating from good ole Watanabe-san in the cubicle next door.)
From Terrie’s Take #527:
-> ‘Cool Biz’ hurts economy
A former economist for the Dai-ichi Life Research Institute in Tokyo, fed up with having to work in an office whose air conditioning was set to a sweltering 28 degrees per the Cool Biz guidelines, has found that the high temperature in offices rather than helping the economy, is actually hurting it. The researcher found that high office temperatures are reducing office worker productivity nationally by about JPY653bn (US$6.9bn) a year, or 0.13% of the nation’s GDP. According to the researcher, the ideal temperature to save energy and yet suit the wearing of cool biz-type clothing, and which is used by the United Nations, is around 25 degrees. The researcher discovered that for each degree the air conditioning is set above 25, worker productivity drops by 1.9%. ***Ed: Cool biz ain’t so cool after all.** (Source: TT commentary from bloomberg.com, Jul 23, 2009)