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  • cosmogony
  • Super Waygook

    • 391

    • November 24, 2010, 07:56:37 pm
    • Busan
High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« on: February 22, 2011, 01:02:20 pm »
I got my bill yesterday for the month of January, and it was significantly higher than that of December. I was charged 16,000 won for electricity in December, but this bill has the humongous figure of 173,000!!!  :o I didn't use more electricity in January than I did in December, and even if I did, not 10 times more!

I phoned the number on the back of my bill but the lady who picked up didn't speak English. So, how can I resolve this issue? Who can I call? I'd like to take care of it myself, rather than getting a Korean friend to do it for me.

Any advice?
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  • zongal2012
  • Veteran

    • 145

    • September 01, 2010, 09:08:26 am
    • Gangwondo
Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 01:14:01 pm »
I also got a huge bill for December and January and I was away for the entire month of January so hows that possible?
Maybe its a price hike?
Got my gas bill today nearly choked on the number almost $220 !
Ra-men dinners welcome back
I heard about a hotline you can call with English operators but cant remember it, or is that just for tourist information ?


Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 01:27:15 pm »
From what I've heard some apartment complexes get the bill for the entire building and split it evenly among the tenants. So it wouldn't matter if you froze yourself to save on the bills, if you have to split the bill with the other people in the building you will be stuck with a bigger bill.


  • Lanes
  • Newgookin

    • 2

    • September 02, 2010, 01:41:50 pm
    • South Korea
Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 01:27:47 pm »
Same here.  I got a text from my co-teacher saying I have to pay W200 000 for my electricity and the remaining of my gas (a week's usage).  I started using a fan heater because the gas was so expensive, so she said that maybe it is the heater?!  Which I doubt, electricity bills during the summer months (using air conditioner) was not even close to this!  What's up with this now?!


  • bmsteacher
  • Veteran

    • 216

    • May 25, 2010, 07:16:33 am
    • Kyeonggi-do, ROK
Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 01:29:04 pm »
I'm sorry to hear about your bill woes.  My worst bill was 545 000 Won in July of 2009.  From my understanding office-tel apartments are notorious for high utility fees.  I've heard that in the coldest and hottest months, office-tel utility rates can actually increase.  Could you ask your school's administration staff to phone on your behalf?  Good luck.   


  • pickle
  • Veteran

    • 139

    • June 29, 2010, 01:58:27 pm
    • Cheongju, Chungbuk
Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011, 01:32:43 pm »
My co-teacher tried to tell me something about tax, but then went back on it and said it was a regular payment--so I'm confused, too. I know there was a danger of blackouts recently because of high demand for energy for heating, so the government put severe restrictions on how much offices, at least, could consume. I wonder if we all exceeded some limit so we were fined. Or maybe the rate went up temporarily to encourage conservation?


  • weezy
  • Waygookin

    • 22

    • October 29, 2010, 11:28:33 am
    • Masan, South Korea
Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2011, 01:36:58 pm »
I had a similar experience in Busan back in 2008 and it went from 10,000 to 90,000.  The thing was the rates did in fact increase but also the ONDOL heating system for the floor.  I had that on for 6 hours a night a night because I was in a small drafty apartment on the 2nd floor and I hadn't discovered heating pads, haha.  With only the heating pad my bill dropped again to like 15,000.

Crazy spikes with the Air con as well this year.

I was away for half the month and I paid my normal 70,000 for just maintenance, water and hydro, haha so maybe it balances out with the lucky ones who (like me first year) pay so little except in the winter if you're not careful!

Seriously 545,000 for one month???? that can't be right, lol


Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2011, 01:37:46 pm »
hmmm, do you live in an office tel?  that could be the problem.  office tels have HUGE electricity bills.  heating is super expeinsive. 
i've heard of 400,000won bills for one month in the winter.

my december bill went from the usual 95,000won to 175,000won and that was only having the heat on 4hrs a day. 

also, when you leave during the day, unplug everything...except the fridge of course.  i use very little energy (except for my heating) and my fees are still 95,000won a month bare minimum.  downside to living in an office tell.  :(


  • bmsteacher
  • Veteran

    • 216

    • May 25, 2010, 07:16:33 am
    • Kyeonggi-do, ROK
Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2011, 01:44:39 pm »
Yes, 545 000 Won was for two people with the air conditioning running almost constantly.  On average I pay at least 255 000 Won a month, which is easily the highest amongst my friends.  I guess it's just the worst office-tel in the neighbourhood.

Update:  I found the old bill and I was a little off, it was only 523 290 Won.  Please excuse my poor memory.   
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 01:50:08 pm by bmsteacher »


Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2011, 01:49:54 pm »
I first noticed my decemeber bill was huge in comparison so I thought it was the heating but then I got the gas bill and it was obvious most of the heating cost was on that.  My co teacher called the electricity company and they explained that if you use for example ___ this much electricity it cost say $10 then if you use double ___ it does not cost $20 it costs $30 so if you use three times that amount it doesn't cost $60 it costs $90 etc it must be a way to discourage using electricity for environmental reasons.  I don't know.


  • cosmogony
  • Super Waygook

    • 391

    • November 24, 2010, 07:56:37 pm
    • Busan
Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2011, 01:50:43 pm »
I live in a regular apartment building, 15 floors, and the bill is not divided among all the tenants. Everyone gets their own bills. I don't use floor heating AT ALL. I have an electric heater which was on less often in January than in December. A Korean friend I talked to said that say one month you use 1 unit of electricity and it costs 10,000, if you double that the next month, the price doesn't double, but triples. So, there are categories, and once you go over a certain usage, the price goes up accordingly to those categories. Still, it doesn't make sense that I'd be paying this much. I used to live in an office-tel and I expected bills like that (though they were still a bit shocking at times). But when I've been paying 100,000 won for all my utilities, for the 5 months I've lived here, and then get this outrageous bill of 260,000 for everything, it's a bit worrisome.
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  • Lorenzo
  • Explorer

    • 9

    • December 26, 2010, 05:33:28 pm
    • Changwon
Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2011, 12:04:02 am »
check with you neighbors... Where I live my electricity is around 30000-60000W, because the apartment MUST split the cost (I used A LOT OF electricity during January, almost double December, but yet the bill was almost the same), because the rest of my bill is around 90000-100000 for random stuff that is also being split amongst everybody... lie maintenance, elevator check, electricity check... Strange system! But I guess that is how it works sometimes!


Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2011, 07:30:28 am »
my bills are also unusually high- my last bill was 180,000 and I was out of the country on vacation for a month! 
ask a coworker if they can translate the break down to see what you are paying for! 


  • tamba_de
  • Adventurer

    • 29

    • December 06, 2010, 10:28:21 am
    • Yanju, South korea
Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2011, 08:04:09 am »
I guess this is a bad time to gloat and tell everyone that I pay 110 000 won for a bundle utility fee that includes heat/electricity/internet/cable, and the rate never increases.  That being said, everyone else in the building maxes their heating all the time so I can't even get the heat in my room to go below 20 degrees, even if I try really hard. It's a new building so I guess this is the way they decided to run it.


  • glb0b
  • Expert Waygook

    • 601

    • July 06, 2010, 03:02:56 pm
Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2011, 10:24:01 am »
Do you know where your electricity meter is? Perhaps you could check the meter reading and see if it is correct.

Double check that they have taken off previous payments too. I have had several bills where they have not deducted the last month's payment (even though I paid it) due to an error (either at the bank or the utility company). Are you also sure that it is your bill? One of my friends ended up paying someone else's bill by mistake as that kept coming to his mailbox. The other person's bill was much higher than his.


  • GreenFloyd
  • Veteran

    • 195

    • September 02, 2010, 06:56:23 pm
    • Hyeonpung, Daegu, South Korea
Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2011, 10:48:24 am »
Makes me feel a bit better to hear about other peoples jacked up prices. My January gas bill was 180,000 WON which really surprised me. I made a huge effort not to use gas that month because my December bill was way higher than I expected it to be. Electricity bill always hovers around 10,000won though which is ridiculously low and I don't quite understand it. Don't pay for internet or TV. Regardless of that, I'm still bundling up now and not using floor heating anymore.

Does anybody else have their gas bills handwritten to them by the apt. owner? He calculates it in a little book that I have attached to my front door and writes it in hand. Then I have to make a transfer to him individually. I'm not sure I like it, but there's not too much I can do either.


  • cosmogony
  • Super Waygook

    • 391

    • November 24, 2010, 07:56:37 pm
    • Busan
Re: High electricity bill (how to solve?)
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2011, 11:07:27 am »
Thanks for everyone's responses. I asked a co-teacher to phone the company. This is what she told me:

"The lady on the phone said that you used your heater too much."

To which I responded "How does she know it was the heater and not something else?"

"It's the electric heater you use. Many people complain because there's a new tax."

I have no idea how she was able to know what specific appliance used up all the electricity. Odd. I told her that I used the same amount in December (or maybe more, less, but not 10 times more! That would mean I'd have to run it like 50 hours in a 24 hour period!). Then she told me my bill for next month will be even higher! I used the heater maybe 10 days in all of February! And all of the other things which run on electricity more or less the same amount. So, I have another $250 bill to look forward to next month. This is why I didn't want someone else taking care of this because I knew that my co-teacher would call to inquire, not demand to solve the issue. And apparently there's a new tax, but I doubt the tax would be 1000% of the actual cost. And what, it's random people who have to pay it?

When it comes to issues in Korea I know I just have to accept them. I know I'm partly to blame since I don't speak Korean and can't call myself to demand something be done, so I'm not accusing anyone of anything. It's quite frustrating.
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