A (42), a housewife living in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, bought another air conditioner this summer.

During the tropical nights that continued every day, my two children and my husband were sleeping, so I bought another one.

Person A said, "I turned on the air conditioner in the living room to save electricity bills, and four family members slept together, but the desired air conditioning temperature was different, so I finally brought in another one." “He said.

In the midst of a surge in cooling demand due to heat waves and tropical nights, electricity bills for July are sent to each household in turn this month.

As the use of air conditioners increases, there are also many voices worrying about 'electricity bill bombs'.

According to KEPCO today (the 1st), electricity bills for July will be sent out sequentially according to the meter reading date.

Each household has a different meter reading date, so the receipt date is different. Usually, you will receive a bill 10 days after the meter reading.

For example, consumers who used from June 24 to July 23 will receive it on August 3.

As KEPCO expands the progressive electricity rate system temporarily in the summer, it is not expected that the rate will increase rapidly.

From July to August, the first stage of the progressive system will be expanded from 0∼200kWh to 0∼300kWh, and the second stage will be extended from 201∼400kWh to 301∼450kWh.

A KEPCO official said, "Last year, the discounted electricity rates due to the easing of the progressive system reached about 280 billion won."

However, even in the summer of 2018, when the worst heat wave hit, even though the progressive system was relaxed, many households were hit by electricity bill bombs.

When electricity consumption exceeded the upper limit (450 kWh) for the second phase, 4 to 5 times more than the previous month was charged.

According to statistics compiled by KEPCO, the average electricity bill per household in the summer of 2018 jumped to 25,620 won in July and 41,513 won in August, when the heat wave reached its peak.

Last year, it was 22,359 won in July and 28,31 won in August.

Compared to August alone, 2018 was 1.5 times more.

From July of this year, the electricity rate for general households using less than 200 kWh per month will also increase by 2,000 won compared to the previous one.

This is because the discount for mandatory use deduction for housing is reduced from 4,000 won per month to 2,000 won per month.

This applies to about 6.25 million households, and the range of price fluctuations experienced by target households is expected to increase.

The problem is that electricity rates are highly likely to rise in earnest from October.

The government and KEPCO have frozen electricity rates for two consecutive quarters even after introducing a fuel cost indexation system starting this year.

However, as fuel costs for electricity production, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal, have skyrocketed since this year, pressure to raise rates in the fourth quarter is also increasing.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy also announced that, "If the high fuel cost level is maintained or the upward trend continues, we will review the change in fuel cost to be reflected in the adjusted unit price in the fourth quarter."

However, as the fourth quarter is a time when the next presidential election is in full swing, there is an observation that it will not be easy to pull out an electricity rate increase card hastily.