Seoul cracks down on big building power use

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Seoul cracks down on big building power use

With fears of a power shortage again on the rise, hundreds of large buildings in Seoul have been forced by the city to reduce their daily energy consumption by 3 to 15 percent in August.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said yesterday that a total of 282 large facilities whose contract demand (the amount of power a facility agrees to pay for) is 5,000 kilowatts per hour or higher need to cut back on the amount of power they are using.

The city government already notified the management firms of all 282 buildings about the amount of power they will be expected to save this month.

The policy will be implemented during the peak summer season between August 5 and 30.

About 17.6 percent of the city’s annual power consumption is from large buildings like hotels, hospitals, universities, department stores and conglomerate buildings, according to the Seoul administration.

A fine of 600,000 won to 9 million won ($540 to $8,100) per day will be slapped on buildings found to be in violation of the policy. The city government will send out officials to track down those who are breaking the new rules.

According to the city government, Seoul National University used the most power last year - a total of 152,554 MWh (one megawatt-hour is a thousand kilowatt hours).

LG Gasan Digital Center and COEX followed with consumption of 138,899MWh and 121,232 MWh, respectively.

“Such measures are very necessary to prevent the city from experiencing the terrible blackouts that occurred in some neighborhoods last year,” Kwon Min, director of the green energy department of the city government, told the Korea JoongAng Daily.

“We will also strictly crack down on stores that run their air-conditioners with their doors open.”

Buildings with higher than a 15 -percent power load change rate need to cut their daily power consumption by 15 percent. The load change rate is calculated by subtracting minimum consumption from maximum consumption and dividing by 100.

Buildings with a 10 to 15 percent power load change rate should reduce their consumption by 10 percent. Facilities coming in under 5 percent have to cut back by 3 percent.

BY KWON SANG-SOO [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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