Plants gobbling up electricity despite export dip

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Plants gobbling up electricity despite export dip

Electricity consumption by the industrial sector rose moderately from a year earlier in August, the government said yesterday, despite a large drop in exports.

Sales of industrial electricity came to 21.38 billion kilowatt-hours last month, up 2.3 percent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

Sales of industrial electricity serves as a barometer of industrial activity as companies use more electricity when business is good and cut back to cope with drops in demand.

The rise, however, comes despite an estimated 6.2 percent drop in the country’s exports from a year earlier in August.

“The rise [in overall electricity sales] is due to a heat wave and long streak of tropical nights that pushed up electricity use for cooling,” the ministry said in a press release.

A tropical night refers to when the overnight temperature remains above 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit). The ministry said the country experienced the longest streak of 23 tropical nights last month.

Korea Electric Power Corporation increased its electricity rate by an average 4.9 percent in early August, but the record heat wave continued to push up electricity consumption by households and nonmanufacturing businesses, which together account for about 35 percent of total electricity use.

Overall sales of electricity sales rose 4 percent on-year to 39.9 billion kilowatt-hours in August as consumption by households surged 12.5 percent with consumption by office buildings up 1.6 percent, according to the ministry.


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