The Korea Herald


Electricity bills to rise to cover Kepco’s snowballing debt

By Kim Byung-wook

Published : Dec. 28, 2021 - 16:01

    • Link copied

An electricity meter (Kepco) An electricity meter (Kepco)
A family of four in South Korea will see electricity bills rise as much as 2,000 won ($1.69) per month in 2022 as Korea Electric Power Corp. decided to raise utility prices 5.6 percent to mitigate its soaring debt accumulated due in part to its aggressive pursuit of renewable energy.

According to NH Investment & Securities on Tuesday, the state-run utility will charge 11.8 won more per kilowatt-hour next year, which would allow the company to save costs worth 3 trillion won annually.

Despite concerns for inflation and the financial burden on local households, Kepco’s stock price soared to 22,950 won in the morning, almost 7 percent jump from the previous close, on hopes for the company’s normalization.

“The government last week postponed the adjustment due to omicron variant but the price hike shows its determination to normalize electricity bills regardless of the presidential election scheduled for March,” Lee Min-jae, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said.

Households face a greater burden as gas prices are soon to go up.

According to Korea Gas Corp., gas charges will gradually go up by 2.3 won per megajoule in October. This would raise monthly gas bills to 33,050 won from the current 28,450 won. Kogas expects that the price hike will allow the company to clear its debt worth 1.8 trillion won within two years.