After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Chikako Fujii swore off her regional power company and chose to only use the energy she can produce. She installed 17-square-feet of solar panels on her veranda, stopped using an air conditioner, and switched to non-electric appliances, such as a pedal-operated sewing machine and a charcoal-powered iron.
Fujii also remodeled a bicycle exercise machine to power up a battery. When the sun disappears at night or during the rain and typhoon season, Fujii keeps up the energy she needs by pedaling on the bike.
On average, she consumes 500 to 800 watt-hours of electricity daily, which Junichi Bekku estimates is roughly 8% of the average household's energy consumption.
While she paid more than 4,000 yen ($36) per month for electricity before the disaster, the figure gradually dropped to around 2,000 yen. When she finally unplugged the refrigerator, which requires much power, the bill reached 800 yen.
“I thought I might be able to live without relying on the power company, and decided to start an off-grid life for the fun of it,” Fujii said.