JP-4:Mandatory Energy Management

Policy Description

Mandatory energy management is one of the central measures applicable to industry that is provided under the Act on the Rational Use of Energy. High energy users must formulate a medium- to long-term Energy Efficiency Plan, report periodically, appoint a certified energy manager and have a supervisor from top management appointed. 


The Act on the Rational Use of Energy is a pillar of Japanese energy conservation policies [1a]. The Law was enacted in 1979 in the light of the oil crisis. The legal framework now covers all sectors within the economy.

In industry, the promotion of energy management is the main measure.  About 14,000 factories (90% of Japanese industries) are designated as either Class 1 (high energy use) of Class 2 (lower energy use) [4]. The requirements for energy management are more stringent for Class 1 factories.

The requirements for Class 1 are: appointment of a energy manager, regular reporting and preparation of a mid- and long-term energy efficiency plan. The latter is not required for Class 2 factories. The Act prescribes both the establishment of an energy management system as well as  mandatory energy planning and identification of energy efficiency measures. The Act does not prescribe the implementation of identified energy efficiency measures.

Policy Information Expand this section for information on the key features of the policy, such as its date of introduction, categorization, main objective(s) and linkages with other policies.

Policy Categorisation

Policy Instrument Type: Administrative

Position in the Pyramid

About Us

Participation: Mandatory


Start Date: 1979

Policy Linkages

Supports Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan (VAP) (ENDED) Effort Defining
Supports Mandatory energy efficiency benchmarking in industry Effort Defining
Supports Japanese Voluntary Emissions Trading Scheme (JVETS) Effort Defining

Agencies Responsible

Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI)
Ministry of Environment

Primary Objective: Energy


To improve insight on the potential for energy efficiency measures [1c]

Target Group

About 14,000 factories are designated as the Class 1 factories (using more than 3,000 kL crude oil eq) and Class 2 factories *using more than 1,500 kL but less than 3000).

Driver of energy consumption or emissions affected by policy: Energy consumption

Implementation Information Expand this section for information on targets, monitoring, verification and enforcement regimes, and implementation requirements and tools.


90% of Japanese industries [4]

Quantitative Target? no

Progress Monitored? yes

Verification Required? yes

Enforced? yes

Sanctions: Potential for penalties (at the discretion of METI) (*2) [2]

Requirements on the Target Group

Facilities must provide yearly reports, as well as develop mid- and long-term plans for energy efficiency and conservation. They must also nominate energy managers, qualified with a National Certificate, knowledgeable in both heat and electricity matters, to oversee their energy management [1a]. A transitional period of 5 years is provided, within which previous managers can perform these functions.
Energy managers must be certified.

Support by Government

  • Provide guidance and guidelines [1e]; 
  • Support the training and selection of energy managers to carry out energy management;
  • Provide forms of budgetary, tax and financial support (see JP-6) .

Implementation Toolbox

Guidance is provided to support energy management and for compliance reporting. Guidelines are provided by the Energy Conservation Centre Japan (in Japanese only).

Complexity of Implementation


Development of guidelines for reporting and planning; monitoring and enforcement at company level.

Target Group

Establishing energy management systems, reporting obligations, training and certification of energy managers.

Impacts, Costs & Benefits Expand this section to find information on policy effectiveness and efficiency.

Impact Quantitative Estimate Qualitative Estimate
Estimated effect on energy consumption or emissions Not Available Not Available
Estimated costs/benefits for industry Not Available Not Available
Estimated cost for government Not Available Not Available
Other Benefits
General Benefits Reduced energy costs, reduced CO2 emissions and other environmental pollutants.
Specific Benefits Better insight into the potential for energy efficiency measures and costs.

References & Footnotes


[1a] Act on the Rational Use of Energy (1979). Retrieved from: http://www.asiaeec-col.eccj.or.jp/law/revised/rue_2.pdf

[1b] Energy Conservation Centre Japan. Chronicles of Energy Conservation Laws. Retrieved from: http://www.asiaeec-col.eccj.or.jp/chronicle/index.html

[1c] Energy Conservation Centre Japan (2001). Act on the Rational Use of Energy. Retrieved from: http://www.asiaeec-col.eccj.or.jp/databook/2001e/04_02_01.html

[1d] Energy Conservation Centre Japan (2001). Guidelines of factories for rationalization of energy use. Retrieved from: http://www.asiaeec-col.eccj.or.jp/databook/2001e/04_03_01.html

[1e] Energy Conservation Centre Japan (2009). Energy Conservation Policies and Laws in Japan. Retrieved from: http://www.asiaeec-col.eccj.or.jp/databook/2009e/pdf/handbook09_2.pdf

[2] IEA (2208). Japan 2008 review. Retrieved from: http://www.iea.org/textbase/nppdf/free/2008/japan2008.pdf

[3] Sakamoto, T. (2009). The More Rational Use of Energy, Article in The Japan Journal, Oct 2009. Retrieved from: http://www.japanjournal.jp/tjje/show_art.php?INDyear=09&INDmon=10&artid=4c8d1ccdde5e8c011adfc5e84976fad2

[4] KUDO, H. (2009). Energy Management Activities in Japan, The Energy Conservation Center, Japan, 2009. Retrieved from: http://www1.cetim.fr/eemods09/pages/programme/084l-Kudo-final.pdf


(*1) Energy management control officer, Article 7-2 (1) Pursuant to the provision of an Ordinance of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, a specified business operator shall, with regard to preparation affairs of medium- and- long-term plans prescribed in Article 14, paragraph (1) and the rational use of energy in its factories, etc.,

(*2) When METI finds the energy efficiency levels to be significantly insufficient (following the receipt of reports and/or on-site inspections), it instructs the installation to improve its performance, announces to the public the finding or can penalise a particular factory. To date, METI’s advice following on-site investigations or inspections has succeeded in improving energy efficiency at such factories, and no penalties have been incurred.