Japan’s history of energy efficiency policies

Last updated: 2 August 2023

Japan was the fourth-largest crude oil importer, the largest importer of liquefied natural gas and the third-largest importer of coal in the world in 2019. In 2019, fossil fuels accounted for 88% of Japan’s total primary energy supply, the sixth-highest share among IEA countries. Among the IEA member countries with the highest share of oil and gas, Japan’s import savings from energy efficiency are the largest. This reflects Japan’s long history of rigorous efficiency policies. Oil savings in Japan were equivalent to more than 20% of its oil imports in 2016 and significantly improved the country’s energy security. More generally, between 2011 and 2018, Japan’s total final energy consumption decreased by 8%, while GDP increased by 8%, resulting in a 15% reduction in the energy intensity of the economy. Energy efficiency gains have been driven by successful policy, including efficiency standards for products and vehicles, as well as energy performance requirements for industry, based on benchmarking. Japan places strong emphasis on efficiency improvements to achieve its energy security and energy transition goals.

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