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SK to Cut Power Bills as a Solution to High Electricity Rates

by YuGee / Aug 12, 2016 06:31 AM EDT
South Korea's President Park Geun Hye | By: Pool | Getty Images

The ruling party Saenuri and the government both agreed on Thursday to extremely cut electricity bills from July to September as a response to President Park Geun Hye's call to find a solution to the excessive bills during the hot summer days.

The Korea Herald reported that the officials arrived at this decision during an emergency meeting on Thursday afternoon. The progressive rating system was implemented in 1974 as a way to promote voluntary energy conservations and has been in effect ever since.

According to the party's policymaker, Rep. Kim Gwang Lim, "The idea is to allow each energy sector an extra 50 kilowatts without corresponding charge from July to September. Some 22 million households will benefit from the free cut down."

Kim also stressed that the cutback plan is anticipated to cause deficits that would amount to 420 billion won (US $382 million) for the Korea Electric Power Corp.

The government has been dealing with the debate over the rating system which differentiates between electricity use in industries and homes for many years. The decision was then made after weeks of protest from citizens and political parties for the excessive accretion of rates for households.

The president said in a luncheon with the Saenuri party, "It is pitiful that despite such abnormal heat these days, people should hesitate to turn on the air conditioner in fear of electricity fees. The government has been searching for valid solutions and, in close cooperation with the party, will make efforts to announce (related) plans to the people in the near future."

Park also added, "The progressive rate system has so far been inevitable for the sake of energy conservation,as our country is entirely dependent on imports for energy and is to head toward the new energy business in the future."

The luncheon lasted for two hours and the different government parties acknowledged their partnership and vowed to do their best during the last 16 months of the president's term.

Saenuri party Chairman Lee Jung Hyun said, "I believe the role of the ruling and opposition parties should be differentiated. Our party will thus make the best efforts (to support) our president's government in achieving its goals."

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