Because of the worst cold waves, electricity demand has exceeded the all-time record three times this winter, and we are still in the middle of the season. The power reserve margin has now fallen below the 4 million kW mark, and Korea is faced with a power crisis.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided to move the lunch break forward by one hour from 12:00~13:00 to 11:00~12:00 for a month to help reduce power consumption during 11:00~12:00 as a peak hour. It is the first measure of such kind by a municipal or a regional government in the country, and other local governments are expected to follow suit.
The lunch hour change applies not only to City Hall but to all the district offices of Seoul as well, affecting a total of 40,000 officials across the city. It is valid for a month beginning Friday, January 11 until Friday, February 8 after a two-day trial period on the 9th and 10th of January.
According to an official of the Seoul Metropolitan government, by moving the lunch break for a month, the city will be able to reduce power consumption considerably during the peak hour since lots of lights, computers, and heaters are turned off during lunch break.
The change is expected to enable conserving up to 18,000kWh or 5.3% of the total power consumption in the city during the period 11:00~12:00. The saved energy is equivalent to the power needed for 600,000 florescent lights.
The calculation above is based on power consumption of 200kW for a computer, 300kW for a printer, and 200w for lighting per person.
During the month, however, all civil service departments will remain open exactly as they are now. The municipal government has posted the change of lunch break on its website.
Meanwhile, Korea had a nationwide blackout drill on Thursday, January 10 for 20 minutes between 10:00~10:20, during which the public voluntarily reduced their energy consumption. Government offices turned off all electrical devices and operated their own generators for emergency lights during that time.
For inquiries, contact: Green Energy Department (Tel. : +82-2-2115-7743)