Energy consumption per person here is about half that in the United States, and the growth of greenhouse gas emissions is slower than anywhere in the industrialized world.
There is a hiccup, though, in this world-beating record. It happens inside the Japanese home, where energy use is surging.
Japanese toilets can warm and wash one's bottom, whisk away odors with built-in fans and play water noises that drown out potty sounds.
They play relaxation music, too. "Ave Maria" is a favorite. High-end toilets can also sense when someone enters or leaves the bathroom, raising or lowering their lids accordingly. Many models have a "learning mode," which allows them to memorize the lavatory schedules of household members.