Retail businesses and restaurants will be fined this summer if they keep their doors open while running an air conditioner. Stores in glitzy downtown areas like Myeong-dong came in for criticism last summer because they kept their doors open while the air conditioning was on full blast at times of peak power use.
Power-saving measures for the summer will take effect from June 1, one month earlier than usual, as there are already warning signs of an electricity shortage due to freak hot weather.
A meeting of relevant ministers chaired by Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik announced the power-saving measures on Wednesday. The government will give shops a grace period in June and start charging fines from July.
The amount of the fine and extent of the regulations will be finalized by the end of this month. In 478 large commercial buildings like department stores and hotels, indoor temperatures will be limited to no less than 26 degrees Celsius, and government offices will have to maintain indoor temperatures at 28 degrees.