JST’s Center for Low Carbon Society Strategy (LCS) and the University of Tokyo have proposed a new policy scheme to induce more deployment of energy efficiency measures within the household sector. The scheme enables households to avoid paying initial investment in those measures, such as the replacement of an old refrigerator or air-conditioner with a higher efficient one. Initial investment will be funded by special-purpose companies. After the installation of energy efficiency measures, households continue to pay same level of energy fee, and the energy company will pay back the amount of money for conserved electricity to financial institutions until the repayment will be done (“pay as you save” scheme).
According to the research, initial payment is a big burden for households, and questionnaires done by LCS shows that if proposed scheme is realized, more household will take energy efficiency measures.
LCS and the University of Tokyo have visited the authorities and local institutions in U.K. where they conducted a nation-wide policy called “Green Deal”, which was called “pay as you save” at the initial stage. LCS and Ryuji Matsuhashi laboratory at the University of Tokyo (COI-S) also hosted “International Research Workshop on Policy Design to Induce Energy Efficiency Improvement within the Household Sector” in February 2014, to introduce actual status of Green Deal policy, and induce communications between U.K. authorities and Japanese correspondents. The abstract of the workshop is now published both in English and Japanese on LCS website*.
The study shows that it is very important to make the process simple and easy for the households, for instance by making it to be one-stop services. Also, in the case of U.K., making the repayment added on to the electricity bill makes it easy for financial institutes to credit households since people cannot live without electricity, and the probability of not paying for the electricity bill is very low. In Japan, there are “Household Energy Assessment” scheme established by the Ministry of Environment and J-Credit scheme run by the Government of Japan. LCS and the University of Tokyo have conducted a domestic workshop and several stakeholder meetings to utilize existing systems and realize ideal schemes.
The University of Tokyo and LCS will continue research and coordination work to implement “pay as you save” scheme, for the purpose of realizing an affluent low carbon life and economy.
“International Research Workshop on Policy Design to Induce Energy Efficiency Improvement within the Household Sector” abstract
LCS (Center for Low Carbon Society Strategy)
LCS is the think tank in JST, and aims to construct a sustainable low carbon society compatible with affluent life. LCS studies and assesses low carbon technologies in order to promote its introduction, analyze the economic effects, and also propose new regional social systems related to the low carbon society project.
The Center of Innovation (COI) program forms and supports industry-academia collaborative teams so that they can tackle fundamental, multi- and interdisciplinary R&D challenges which are at high risk but with great expectations from the society.
COI-S, which is the satellite institute in the COI team, complements the vision set by the core institution and shares the research missions in the team. Main location where COI teams’ activities take place is called “COI site”.
Ryuji Matsuhashi laboratory in the University of Tokyo is one of the satellite institutes of the COI site “Creating Co-evolutional Social Systems” promoted by the Kyusyu University of the core institute.
Kenichi Furuhata, Satoko Nagai, Akimitsu Nakajima, and Kae Takase, Ph.D.
[About Research in University of Tokyo]
Kae Takase, Ph.D.
Visiting Researcher, University of Tokyo