G8 summit to showcase zero-emissions house

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The imminent G8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan, has clearly focused minds on the environmental issues that will feature large, including among the high-tech companies whose sales only serve to drive energy consumption.

We've already had a look at the changes needed on the energy supply side, so it's only balanced to see what's going on to ameliorate the load of consumer demand.

Government sponsor

Prominent among the showcases at the summit will be a 'Zero Emissions House' sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) [Japanese].

The house features technology from a range of companies, including Sanyo and Honda, and is intended to illustrate how we can offset the energy we use with a variety of techniques.

Aside from solar panels and a wind-powered generator, energy savings come from using better insulation, next-generation lighting and many measures similar to those we saw on our recent visit to Panasonic's house of the future.

Robots on call

Perhaps to attract more attention than it might otherwise draw, METI has enlisted Honda's Asimo robot as a sort of official spokesbot/tea waiter.

After the summit, METI plans to move the £1 million house away from Japan's sparsely populated northern island to a location where it can be inspected by a public increasingly interested in reducing its impact on the planet.

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