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Top court finalizes ruling in favor of progressive electricity billing

National 11:51 March 30, 2023

SEOUL, March 30 (Yonhap) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday finalized a ruling in favor of South Korea's progressive electricity billing system that charges more to households using a heavy amount of electric power but not to industrial consumers.

The Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling against 87 people who filed a lawsuit against the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), demanding refunds from electricity fees the company earned through the progressive billing system.

Under the system, the more a household uses electricity, the pricier the per-unit rate becomes.

For a household that used 300 kilowatt hours (kWh) in a month, a rate of 112 won (US$0.1) per kWh is applied for the first 200 kWh of electricity used, but a higher per-unit rate of 206.6 won is applied for the next 100 kWh.

The government adopted the billing system right after the global oil crisis in 1973.

It has often led to wild public complaints in the summer season when demand for electricity soars, especially considering the system does not apply to industrial users.

The case has also drawn special attention as it was led by the son-in-law of late former President Roh Moo-hyun, who is a lawyer.

A district and an appellate court have both ruled in favor of KEPCO, saying the progressive billing system is necessary to encourage people to save electricity, a limited but essential public resource, and achieve fair distribution.

Top court finalizes ruling in favor of progressive electricity billing - 1


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