“An increase in the unit price of electricity leads to a rise in value-added tax, the Korea Electrical Industry Foundation Fund, and seasonal surcharge at the same time. I am worried that there will be further increases in electricity bills when it feels like the price already went up by more than 20 percent within a year,” said a member of a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) in Incheon.
On the rooftop of “Yojin Koatec,” a surface treatment center in Seo-gu, Incheon visited on July 27, were some 70 extra-large scrubbers, or dust collectors, to purify the chemical gases emitted during the coating process. A scrubber, equipped with a motor of 200 horsepower, uses 1 million kWh a month. The electricity bill for the pollution control facility, jointly borne by around 100 small tenant companies, soared by 50 percent from 100 million won in April to 151 million won in June this year.
As the electricity price per kWh continuously increased from 3 won in October last year to 6.9 won in April this year, SMEs that consume much electricity fell in panic. The Korea Electric Power Corporation announced that there will be a further increase of 9.9 won in the second half of the year.
However, the ‘electricity bill shock’ has just begun, as there will be a further rise of 5 won in July and a seasonal surcharge for summer, which makes the price 40 percent more expensive than usual. Moreover, electricity consumption itself also increases. The government estimated that the maximum electricity demands this week will surpass 90,000 MW, reaching a record high.
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