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issue: September 2008 APPLIANCE Magazine

International Report: Japan
Existing Homes Can Be All-Electric, Too


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by Wasaku Ishida, Japan correspondent, and president, JARN (Japan Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News)

Japanese consumers are increasingly transitioning their homes to all-electric, and OEMs respond with complete line-ups of premium electric appliances.

The number of all-electric homes will continue to grow in 2008, reflecting the increasing consumer interest in safety, comfort, energy savings, and eco-friendliness. OEMs intend to expand their total sales of all-electric home appliances—including induction cooking appliances and Ecocute (heat-pump water heaters using CO2 as a refrigerant)—into the new-construction markets and to existing homes.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (Melco) and Panasonic are both actively promoting the uptake of all-electric homes in Japan.

All-Electric Surge in Existing Homes

The director of the Matsushita (Panasonic) Group’s division promoting electric homes said, “In particular, demand [in 2007] for all-electric home appliances from existing homes expanded, registering a 4.5-fold growth from 2002.” Matsushita estimates put the number of all-electric homes in Japan at 590,000 in 2007, 280,000 of which were existing homes transitioned to all-electric.

Matsushita is building its all-electric home business on three product pillars: Ecocute and other water-heating appliances, cooking appliances using induction heating (IH) technology, and space/floor heating and air-conditioning. The company plans to double sales of these appliances between 2008 and 2010, targeting sales of 200 billion yen (approx. US$1.8 billion) in 2010.

Melco predicts that all-electric homes’ share of total new homes will go up 0.5% in 2008 to reach 26.4%. It sees faster growth in existing homes, where all-electric homes’ share will go up 1.2% to reach 6.5%.

Melco’s products for the all-electric home include Ecocute units, IH cooking, heat pump hot water floor heating systems, photovoltaic power generating systems, and space heating and ventilation systems. 

 

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