Don't let the water run. . . . save it!
Many houses in Okinawa have what is known in the US as On Demand Hot Water Heaters. Unlike what many Americans are familiar with this type of hot water heater must be turned on for hot water to begin running through your pipes.
Rather than letting water run down the drain while you're waiting for the hot water to get to your shower, for example, why not collect the water and use it for other things around the house? One thing we like to do is to save our large PET bottles and full them up nightly while waiting for the hot water. We then use the bottles of water to do other things around the house like flush the toilet, water garden plants or even wash dishes. Each time a shower is prepared it can take anywhere from 3 to 4 water bottles before the shower is running hot water so why let it go to waste? Believe it or not this simple task can reduce your water bill.
Unplug your appliances.
You've got vampires in your house! That's right but rather than sucking blood they are slowly sucking electricity! Appliances like TV's, computers, gaming consoles, hot water heaters (the ones you make tea with) and anything else with a stand by mode are not just sitting there waiting to be used. . . . they are sucking your wallet dry.
Rather than leaving your appliances plugged in unplug them unless you are actually using them. Although it may be a little less convenient then it would be to keep everything plugged in at all times you will see a HUGE drop in your electricity bill the next time one comes around.
Be smart with your AC.
There is no way around it, Okinawa gets hot and humid. However, its important to be smart with your AC so that you don't end up like the many families who have approached me in the past wondering why they have a $600.00 electricity bill.
Fighting the urge to keep your house as cool as a walk in fridge can be difficult, especially in Okinawa's hottest months, however, there are some things you can to in order to use your AC smarter during the summer months. The biggest tip is to remember NOT to keep rooms AC'ed that you are not using. Although it can be nice to go anywhere in your house without having to wait for the room to cool off it can also be a huge financial burden.
Another thing I like to do is designate a small room in my house as the place to go if the heat gets to be too much. I chose the small room because it's easier to cool and takes less energy. Although it's a small room it's a great place to watch movies, play board games of do other non-physical activities while trying to stay cool.
Unplug your super toilet.
Look. . . . I get it. . . . no tush should ever have to be subjected to a cold toilet seat in the middle of the night BUT your "super toilet" or heater toilet seat can be unplugged during the summer months.