To save energy this winter, Yonhap News reports the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) has decreed that from Jan. 3 to Feb. 22, corporations’ office buildings shall be required to keep the thermometer set not higher than 20° Celsius, or a brisk 68° Fahrenheit, and ban the use of personal electric heaters in the workplace. For those who work in a public-agency building, the plan is to freeze you out at 18° Celsius, or an even brisker 64° Fahrenheit. Dress warmly!
Mornings, especially, should be fun, as MKE has also directed that between 10:00 a.m. and noon, the heat should be on for 30 minutes and then off for 30 minutes, in order to reduce demand at the peak time while offices are trying to warm up after the cold, cold night. Additionally, neon signs must be switched off during peak hours of 5:00-7:00 p.m. and businesses will be prohibited from leaving doors open while running the heat (we’re looking at you, Myong-dong!).
By these measures, MKE hopes to compel a 3-10% reduction in energy consumption at 6000 workplaces nationwide which use more than 3000 gW of electricity per month.
Some facilities, such as airports, public transportation facilities, hospitals, schools, kindergartens, public housing, religious facilities, and traditional markets are exempt from energy-use restrictions. Of course they are. So the subway can be just as hot as it’s always been. Work up a sweat before you freeze your balls off in the office!
I’m not allowed to mention why Korea faces a power emergency this winter, lest I be accused of Raaaaacism! but it has something to do with Bribe Club.