SEOUL, June 17 (Yonhap) -- Amid daily possibilities of a power shortage, the country will begin enforcing a set of measures this week aimed at reducing its use of electricity, the government said Monday.
Starting Tuesday, all public offices will be required to maintain their indoor temperatures at 28 degrees Celsius or above, with all commercial buildings also required to keep their temperatures at 26 degrees or above, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The move comes as the country was forced to shut down two nuclear reactors while also delaying the scheduled operation of two newly built reactors due to various control cables of sub-standard quality that were supplied and used under fake test results and quality certificates.
The shutdown of the reactors late last month immediately took away at least 4 million kilowatts from the country's total generation capacity, which now stands at less than 77 million kilowatts. The ministry has said the country's peak demand for power was expected to reach 78.7 million kilowatts this summer.
The government is daily struggling to keep the country's power reserve at above what is considered a safe level of 4 million kilowatts, though it has already been forced to issue several power shortage warnings as the reserve level dipped to around or below 4 million kilowatts.
The energy saving measures, being put in place this week, will include a strict ban on any store doing business with their doors open as a way of attracting more customers off the street, while consuming electric power to keep their temperatures low at the same time.
Each violation of such measures will be subject to a maximum fine of 3 million won (US$2,664) from the start of next month, the ministry said in a press release.
Such measures will be enforced throughout the end of August.
Starting from the beginning of August, when the country's power consumption is expected to reach its annual high, all large businesses that use over 5,000 kilowatts of electricity per month will be required to cut their consumption between the peak hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. by at least 3 percent, according to the ministry.
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