The average temperature on this past August was 34.5 degrees Celsius, an increase of about 3 degrees from last year (31 degrees Celsius). Until recently, home electrical charges were decided on a 6-category basis, and taxed accordingly. For example, the home that used under 100kWh was only charged 60.7won/kWh, and the home that used over 500kWh was charged at the rate of 709.5won/kWh. This is a huge difference, almost 11 times greater. This rate of charging systems was created in 1974 in order to promote wise energy usage and to ease the burden on lower income families. However, today it is surrounded with controversy. According to social change, the average rate of electric energy consumption has increased. Also, this rate difference is huge when it is compared to rates in other nations. Moreover, it is based on a highly complex determination structure. With the incredible heat this summer, citizens’ unrest with the system was heightened. Additionally, the rate system only applies to households not businesses which use a lot of electricity due to air-conditioners. People started demanding equity. Therefore, the government reduced the rate by 20%. Several people have voiced concern for the long-term effect of this reduction. The reason for the complaints this summer about the heat may have actually stemmed from the high electrical costs.
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