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The model Kyoto Eco-Action Points program started in October 2008. As part of this project, Kyoto Carbon Dioxide Reduction Bank (committee for environmentally friendly activities in Kyoto) issues Eco-Action Points based on the amount of CO2 reduced in the central elements of domestic energy consumption, such as the use of electricity and gas. These points can be used as shopping credits at participating stores. This is the first such system in Japan, and it aims to drastically reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the domestic sector.
Eco-Action Points are also issued upon purchasing energy-saving products or services. Customers can exchange earned points for products and services, including electronic money. The Ministry of the Environment of Japan selected 13 model projects in March 2008 and has since been promoting them.
Participating households make an effort to reduce their electricity and gas consumption, and one point (equivalent to one yen, which is about one US cent) is given for every 0.2-kilogram reduction in CO2 when compared to the same month a year ago. Points are also given if the households install solar energy equipment, such as photovoltaic power generation systems and solar water heating systems.
The points can be used for shopping or dining at 1,200 participating stores and restaurants within Kyoto prefecture, and on transportation systems such as private railways, subways and buses in the Kansai area. Companies in Kyoto purchase the CO2 reductions as carbon credits to offset CO2 emitted from their corporate activities and events.
Source: Japan for Sustainability.