Gov’t, ruling party officials to meet over temporary cut in electricity bills

SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- Officials from the government and the ruling Democratic Party (DP) were set to meet Tuesday to discuss ways to cut electricity bills temporarily amid a heat wave that has scorched South Korea for weeks.

The meeting comes as the country has been gripped by extremely hot weather for weeks with temperatures in Seoul hitting a record 39.6 C last Wednesday. The record-breaking heat wave raised concerns about higher electricity bills for households.

President Moon Jae-in instructed senior government officials Monday to draw up measures to ease the burden on households caused by the incremental electricity rate for July and August and increase the discounts for power rates for low-income families and social welfare facilities.

South Korea applies incremental electricity rates only to households, which are charged higher rates the more electricity they use. The system puts heavier burdens on households than industries, whose electricity rates change depending on the season and time.

At Tuesday's meeting, government and DP officials are expected to decide how much the incremental electricity bills will be curtailed, according to party officials.

Participants in the meeting will include Hong Young-pyo, the floor leader of the DP, and Paik Un-gyu, minister of trade, industry and energy.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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