Majority choosing paraffin or gas over electricity for winter heat

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Are you thinking about using a paraffin or gas stove instead of an air conditioner this winter? graph of japanese statisticsWith the winter drawing in, and with the continued threat of power cuts – the Kansai area power supplier has asked for voluntary 10% cuts, and now imports of Iranian crude are threatened – people are thinking how best to heat their homes, so this survey from goo Research, reported on by japan.internet.com, looked at saving electricity in winter.

Research results

Between the 5th and 11th of December 2011 1,050 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.0% of the sample were male, 15.9% in their teens, 18.1% in their twenties, 21.1% in their thirties, 16.8% in their forties, 15.8% in their fifties, and 12.3% aged sixty or older.

I saw some back-of-the-envelope calculations that showed that per thermal unit, heat from paraffin (kerosene) was half the price of electricity in Japan, but I don’t know where gas stands in the equation. Problems, though, with liquid fuel include the smell, higher risk of fire, and of carbon monoxide poisoning from ill-maintained devices. Furthermore, with liquid fuel, and free-standing gas heaters, it is recommended to air the room once an hour, so much of the heat tends to escape. On the other hand, electric heaters dry the air badly. We have underfloor heating in the living room and dining room, but I’m not convinced of its usefulness except when sleeping on the floor!

Research results

First of all, 762 people, or 72.6% of the sample, said that saving electricity was needed this winter. When asked where should, tops was the home (628 people), followed by supermarkets and other shops. Of these 628 thinking about saving electricity at home, 575 people answered that they were thinking about reducing air conditioner or other heaters usage. These 575 were then asked the following.

Q1: Are you thinking about using a paraffin or gas stove instead of an air conditioner this winter? (Sampkle size=575)

Think so 50.3%
Don’t think so 39.5%
Don’t know 10.3%
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2 comments »

  1. Nikkei said,
    January 9, 2012 @ 09:03

    that makes sense given the current state of TEPCO. Good find.

  2. shiroyama said,
    January 13, 2012 @ 21:35

    I can’t stand the smell of a kerosene stove. I have to change all my clothes and have a shower when I come home from the in-laws because the smell is all over me. They never air the room out and I start to feel ill if I stay in their kitchen/dining area too long. I suspect one day they’ll be found overcome by fumes (they’re not big on updating to new appliances either).
    We mostly use our in-floor heating system, it’s usually enough without the aircon. But the house we’re renting is fairly new and well insulated.

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