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A cross-cultural analysis of household energy use behaviour in Japan and Norway


In this paper we compare and contrast the results of ethnographic investigations of energy use behaviour in Fukuoka, Japan and Oslo, Norway. These studies show significant differences in end use patterns for space heating, lighting and hot water use. We discuss how these patterns are related to cultural and economic factors. Our findings show that while energy intensive space heating and lighting habits have become an integral part of the presentation of the Norwegian home, Japanese space heat and light habits are more disciplined and less culturally significant. In Japan, the bathing routine is extremely important to the Japanese lifestyle and at the same time very energy intensive. Other energy intensive patterns are identified which do not have the same cultural significance, such as lax temperature setback in Norway and dish washing practices in Japan. The policy implications of these findings are discussed.