Japan’s Energy-Guzzling Toilets

Image Copyright © 2001 Hugo Haas, <hugo@larve.net>

Although Japan is one of the world’s most energy conscious nations, they seem to be having energy-use problems with electricity-guzzling luxury toilets. Apparently, luxury toilets are all the rage in Japan. Common features of these wondrous water-closets include heated seats, self-raising lids, built-in fans, automatic bottom-washing and music to drown out those nasty toilet noises. These toilets are enormous energy wasters, accounting for 4% of Japan’s total energy consumption. The average Japanese toilet uses more electricity than a dishwasher or clothes dryer.

This problem is so serious that the Japanese government formed an Electric Toilet Seats Evaluation Standard Subcommittee. Now there’s something for a politician to put on their resume! Anyway, for anyone who’s interested, the full report can be found (in English) in this PDF. Toilet manufacturers are acting fast to increase the energy-efficiency of their lavish lavatories, and the government is encouraging citizens to form energy-saving toilet habits, such as keeping toilet lids down to prevent the heated seats from becoming cold.

I guess the moral to all this is that we all have to make our sacrifices for the cause of global sustainability. We Americans have to give up our coal plants and gas-guzzling SUVs… and Japan has to give up its heated toilet seats. For Mother Earth!


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