Utilities - Electricity, Gas, Water
Electricity: Voltage in Korea is 220 volts. However, some housing for foreigners also have 110v outlets, as do some businesses. Even if you don't have the 110v option, transformers, which are easy to find, will allow you to use your 110v applicances.
You may hear about electric rates behind lower at night. That is true, but only for commercial use. These savings do not apply to private residences or small apartment buildings.
Gas stoves are more commonly used than electric – the cost of electricity being quite high.
Tap water is OK to drink here although most people (Koreans and expats alike) prefer to use filtered or bottled water. An increasing number of appartments/houses (especially newer ones) have a water filter already installed under the sink, with some having a separate faucet for drinking water.
Utilities - electricity, water, gas and heat, are usually the responsibility of the tenant. In some small apartments, the landlord/lady receives a bill for the building and divides the costs between the tenants. It is usually best to choose a building in which each unit has its own gas, electricity and water meter.
If you are in a building where tenants each pay a share of the electricity bill, make sure when you sign the lease that you will see the whole bill and get an explanation on how the payment is divided each time.
While electric and gas bills are usually issued monthly, water usage is calculated and billed every quartrer.
Electricity rates are intended to curb high usage. Electricity bills are based on 6 pricing levels, which also include a demand and energy charge. The more energy used in a month, the higher the rate for each pricing level so that if you use twice as much energy as the 'basic/normal' rate, you will see a 2.5X increase in the energy charge and a 4X increase in the demand charge. Residential pricing is also broken down into low and high-voltage customers. As a result of this pricing structure, using air-conditioning for example, can result in a bill of hundreds of won, depending on usage and size of the home.
Following an increase in the rate in December 2011, another increase came into effect in August 2012 - 6 percent for industrial users, 2.7 percent for households and 3.0 percent for educational facilities.
You can pay utility bills in many locations, including banks and post offices. Bill payments can also be automatically deducted from your Korean bank account every month – you’ll receive a statement before the due date.
If you’re paying monthly at the bank, most have bill paying ‘machines’. The guard will usually show you how to use it. You can also find details, including general instructions, on the K4E Bill Payment page.
Electricity : Korea Electric Power Corporation - KEPCO (한국전력공사: Hanguk Jeollyeok Gongsa) - serves the country, government a major stakeholder.
Water : K-Water (Korea Water)
Gas : Seoul City Gas (serves Seoul andGyeonggi-do), Busan City Gas (serves the Busan area), Daegu City Gas (serves Daegu and vicinity), Chungnam Urban Gas (1544-0009 - Daejeon)
For more general information on utilities, appliances and other housing issues, see the K4E General Information page.
K4E Editor: Korea4Expats.com tries to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and complete, so should you notice any errors or omissions in the content above please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated on 2012-11-04
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