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S.Korea president orders temporary cut in electricity rate amid heat wave
Last Updated: 2018-08-06 16:29 | Xinhua
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South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered a temporary cut in electricity rate amid the scorching heat wave that hit the entire country, the presidential Blue House said Monday.

Moon said at a meeting with his senior secretaries that a temporary easing of the incremental electricity rate system for households should be conducted in July and August, along with the expanded discount of electricity costs for the low-income bracket and social welfare facilities.

The instruction came as the sweltering heat wave swept the entire country. Temperatures across the country hovered around 40 degrees Celsius, but the low-income households refrained from operating air conditioners on concerns over a so-called "electricity charge bomb."

The incremental electricity bill system is only applied to households, which bear more burden for electricity charges than industrial companies and merchandisers.

The incremental system was adopted in 1970s to allow industrial companies to use more electricity than households for fast industrialization.

Calls mounted for the revision of the system as it increases the electricity charge burden for low-income households.

President Moon said the country has maintained a electricity reserve rate at a stable level, but he ordered his aides to draw up fundamental measures to tackle the heat wave, which Moon called a natural disaster regularly coming in summer amid the unusual global weather.

Moon said measures should be crafted to let people run air conditioners without worry about electricity bills as the use of air coolers is a basic welfare conducive to public health and people's lives.

He also ordered secretaries to review ways to revise the current incremental system of electricity rate.

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