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IN-DEPTH: S. Korean households face higher utility bills this summer, adding to inflation struggle Updated: 2022-07-07 18:15:13 KST

Extreme heat becomes an even bigger problem when the cost of electricity goes up.
It's more expensive to keep cool, and with energy supplies disrupted around the world, it'll cost more to stay warm next winter.
But Korea has had no choice but to raise electricity prices starting this month.
To find out more about the impact of the price hike and what could be in store for us the rest of this summer, we're pleased to welcome to the program Mr. Lee Yoo-Soo, Managing Director of the Korea Energy Economics Institute.

Q1. We've been having some extreme heat this summer in Korea. Other parts of the world, too, so energy demand is high. That will also be the case this coming winter, and there have been dire predictions for Europe especially because of the sanctions on Russia cutting off supplies. What's happening in the global energy markets and why these concerns about a global crisis?
Q2. From this month, electricity bills are going up in Korea. It's the hottest time of the year, and even at night time the heat can be uncomfortable. Electricity demand last month was the highest on record for the month of June. What's in store for us here in Korea in terms of electricity supply, demand and cost?
Q3. The government and the Korea Electric Power Corporation came to an agreement to raise electricity billing rates. KEPCO has been running a massive deficit. Tell us about that, and whether you think this was the right move.
Q4. Korea has the third highest electricity usage per person in the world. But where does Korea stand in terms of what people pay for electricity?
Q5. Higher electricity rates will mean bigger bills for households, obviously. It couldn't come at a worse time. But gas bills will be going up to. How does this figure into the overall inflation siatuation, and do you expect utility bills to have any particular effect on the overall economy?
Q6. There's this big movement toward carbon neutrality. With global energy prices expected to stay high for some time, what can be done to make sure energy supplies are stable while at the same time continuing to reduce carbon emissions?
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