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Local Businesses Lodge Complaint Against Electricity Price Hike

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    Expect electricity bills to go up next week.

    The government says the higher prices will rein in the growing use of electricity in the nation....

    Expect electricity bills to go up next week.

    The government says the higher prices will rein in the growing use of electricity in the nation.

    Our Yoo Li-an reports on the fourth price hike in 17 months.

    Korean companies are struggling to keep their heads above water amidst the ongoing economic downturn and shrinking demand.

    But now it seems they have another headache to worry about ...



    The government has announced that it will hike electricity fees by an average of four percent starting next Monday.



    (Korean)

    "We're raising electricity prices in an effort to discourage overuse this winter."



    The price of electricity for ordinary households will rise by 2-percent and for companies, 4-point-4 percent.

    The fee hike is the fourth of its kind in a year and a half.

    But the rate increase is not all that surprising...



    Experts say electricity prices have been kept at low levels since 2007 in an effort to ease the burden on consumers during the economic downturn ...

    and Korea had the lowest electricity rate among OECD countries in 2010.

    But with the low prices, came an increase in demand, ...

    which has put the country at risk of a power shortage.

    Though some believe the price hike was necessary, local businesses greeted it with resistance.

    While the price hike will only add about 88 cents to the monthly electricity bill of a typical household,...

    it will add about 270 U.S.

    dollars a month to the bill for companies.

    That prompted business groups to appeal the government's decision on Thursday,...

    with a letter requesting a reduction in the size of the price increase.



    (Korean)

    "Small- to medium-sized businesses are already suffering from an economic slump.

    This (planned price hike) will put a greater financial burden on these companies, which will lead to a corresponding increase in producer and consumer prices."



    While the Ministry of Knowledge Economy expects consumer prices to rise just zero-point-zero-four percent, the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry says the price hike will affect public transportation prices as well.



    (Stand-up)



    "While the Korea Electric Power Corporation expects to see its first profit in six years with the price hike, the industry appeal could force it to change course and decrease the size of the increase...

    before prices rise on Monday.

    Yoo Li-an, Arirang News."

  • # Electricity
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