The Summer of 2011 has begun in ernest, and it’s definitely going to be a dicey one for Japan. The areas served by TEPCO — everything from Tokyo to the northernmost point of the main island of Honshu — face a huge shortfall in electric power due to the deactivated nuclear plants, and everyone is required to cut their electrical use 15% compared with last year. J-List is doing our part by switching to an early summer schedule, with staff members coming in an hour and a half early so we can get our work done before it gets too hot and humid out, but running a company dependent on computers makes it hard to cut much more. Companies are doing things like setting vending machines to power off for the peak times of the day and scheduling work shifts for cooler hours, though it seems to me if they closed a few dozen of those flashy pachinko parlors around J-List they could save a lot more power. If the cuts aren’t enough, TEPCO will be forced to return to the rolling blackouts that were such a hardship in the weeks after the quake — we certainly hope that can be avoided.
It’s a hot and worrysome summer in Japan.