'How can the poor pay for their heating bills?'

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'How can the poor pay for their heating bills?'

Electricity and gas bills are set to be be raised simultaneously this month.
Following the changes, an average family of four will pay 2,270 won more per month for electricity and 5,400 won per month for gas.  
According to Korea Electric Power Corp. on Sept. 30, the base rate is being increased by 7.4 won per kilowatt hour for the last three months of the year.
For customers consuming 201 and 400 kilowatt hour of energy a month, they will pay the fixed charge of 1,260 won per month plus 152.1 won per kilowatt hour, up from 147.2 won.
For industrial customers, the increase is 11.7 won per kilowatt hour.
The price of gas used for heating and cooking will increase 15.9 percent, adding an average of 5,400 per month to the household gas bill.
Prices for businesses, including restaurants, will increase between 16.4 and 17.4 percent.  
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Friday, gas prices will be increased to 19.69 won per megajoule from 16.99 won due to rising natural gas prices and the stronger dollar.
According to the government, the unit price of imported natural gas has more than quadrupled since 2021.  
“They had once said that they would tame the surging inflation but failed. Life gets tougher and tougher.”
“How can the poor pay for their heating bills? Winter is just around the corner.”
“The amount of industrial electricity used by businesses is much larger than that consumed by households.”
“Conglomerates use all the electricity. Why should ordinary people take the burden?”
“The Russian war has forced gas prices to go up.”
“Price hikes are inevitable to soften the repercussions of trade deficit and economic slowdown.”

BY KIM AH-YOUNG, BY HAN HYE-RIM [han.hyerim1@joongang.co.kr]
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