The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy ; considering new systems for energy efficiency in households, small and medium-sized companies within the year
On June 29th, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) presented an interim plan on key points to strengthen efforts for energy conservation in households and small and medium-sized companies, shifting to non-fossil energy and demand response (DR). In the event of establishing a new system as a regulatory measure, the common issues are identifying target companies and energy consumption equipment, setting target dates and values. The ANRE will indicate the institutional approach for addressing these issues within this year.
In the interim plan, it was noted that when considering the shift to non-fossil energy for equipment, even within household water heaters, there are a variety of fuels and technologies including gas, oil, electric heat pumps, electric water heaters and the product configuration varies by manufacturers. The ANRI will continue to consider the target equipment and timing. As a regulation similar to the Top Runner Program, ANRI will carefully examine the applicable target and introduction timing for a system that requires the manufacturers to make water heaters, storage batteries and electric vehicle (EV) charge/discharge units DR-compatible.
Under the Energy Conservation Act, business operators that consume a certain amount of energy, such as factories, are directly regulated to make periodic reports to the government on their energy use and status of consumer equipment for the promotion of energy conservation, non-fossil fuel shift and DR. On the other hand, households and small and medium-sized companies which account for 50% of the nation’s final energy consumption, are not subject to regular reporting. The system encourages efforts through indirect regulations among the energy retailers and consumer equipment.
The study for the enhancement of indirect regulations will be held in the Energy Conservation Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The subcommittee
discussed the issues of equipment shift to non-fossil fuel and DR, provision of information and services to encourage behavior change from retailers to consumers, and compiled a draft of the interim report. Discussions will be based on the energy supply-demand situation, trends in new technologies and cost-benefit analysis.