Seoul Metropolitan City Office will be having lunch an hour earlier than usual today. From today until February 8, lunchtime will be between 11:00 – 12:00 instead of the usual 12:00 – 13:00. This will apply to Seoul Metropolitan City’s main office and its affiliate offices.
Why the change some might ask? Because it is our strategy to save electricity! Electricity consumption is at its highest from 09:00 to 12:00. But if Seoul City’s public servants switch off all the electric appliances in their offices at 11:00 and head out for lunch there and then, it may curb electricity consumption during the peak hours and alleviate the energy crisis. That is why it is important to turn off all electric lights and appliances including standby power.
The energy crisis alert has been sounded six times so far this year, showing just how short we are of electricity. We are only a small step away from a blackout. Yes, it is inconvenient and a pain at times, but the city is taking the lead in reducing our dependence on nuclear plants in a bid to forestall a potential disaster.
Our public servants will take turns at answering public complaints during lunch breaks. The general affairs division has already approved the public servants concerned having lunch after 12:00. And nearby restaurants have been notified of the change in lunch hours.
Some Seoul districts were asked to keep their cafeteria lunch hours flexible out of consideration for the citizens who drop in for lunch. We will monitor this development for one week and take any complementary measures deemed necessary.
Having lunch at 11:00 could be challenging after many years of habitually taking lunch at 12:00. Furthermore, it is only a few hours after breakfast, and cafeteria staff will have to start preparing lunch earlier than usual. I would like to express my thanks to them for accepting these measures without complaint.
I would also like to thank Seoul City union as this plan would not have been possible without their cooperation. The Korea Electric Power Corporation Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corporation have joined in the movement. If public administration offices, private companies, and citizens shift their lunch hours we can surely overcome the energy crisis.