Friday, August 6, 2010

Utilities in Korea

The bills for our first full month here  in Korea weren't too bad.  My husband moved in at the end of May and the girls and  I arrived here on the 5th of June.  Our utility bill for June arrived about two weeks ago and I was pleasantly surprised. Our electric portion of our bill was only about 78000 won, roughly $65.00 and our gas bill was 3400 won, under $3.00. I was actually very excited that the bills were so low for June but I am afraid that July and August are going to very different,especially the electric.

The average temperature in June was lower than the recent temps so we didn't have to run the air conditioning very much.  July came and it was a different story. The temperature has been between 86 and 95 degrees with a humidity of 65 - 90%, which makes for a very warm apartment. I would consider myself to be quite frugal and have only been running the air conditioning a few hours each evening to cool off the house before the girls go to bed. 

Our first month we used about 450 kw but I checked out usage this past month (July) and it has gone up to over 600kw.  The picture below is of the touch screen technology that we have in our apartment.  We can see who's at the front door, talk to neighbors in their apartments and track our utility usage. 
We have been told that the electric is priced in brackets. Say for instance you use under 500 kw, your bill will be 80,000won. If you use between 500 and 700kw, your bill will be  XX number of won (and it would double).  I hope that I am worrying for nothing but since we don't really know what the brackets are and the cost for each of them,  I am afraid that our electric for July will be pricey.  I guess  I can only wait until the bill comes in two weeks to find out. 

I know the gas bill will go up because as I have learned to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, I have definitely been cooking more lately.   In addition to our  gas and electric, we also have to pay water and sewer and our portion of the fees at the apartment complex such as the cost of the parking garage lights, outdoor lighting, elevator cleaning person and recycling people.

As I was trying to research utility bills and usage in Korea, I came across this lovely article (NOT!)  It lets me know that our utilities here in South Korea will be going up due to an increase by the government.

While living in Korea has been very different, I can definitely tell you that it is an adventure that I am glad we have had the opportunity to do as a family.

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