(Bloomberg) -- South Korea is putting a cap on temperature levels in public buildings this winter in an effort to trim electricity consumption amid the deepening global energy crisis.
Temperatures in the country’s state-owned buildings, including government offices, public schools and sports centers, will be kept below 17 degrees Celsius (63 Fahrenheit) from Tuesday to the end of March, according to an energy ministry statement. The government is taking the extreme measure because of the severity of the energy crisis, it said.
The plan to curb electricity demand comes as countries around the globe grapple with the power crunch, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sent natural gas and coal prices soaring to records this year. South Korea has been rushing to find ways to lower energy imports after the sky-high fuel costs and a weakening won pushed the nation’s trade deficit to a record.
See also: Sky-High Gas Prices Prompt Korean Utilities to Burn More Coal
More than 1,000 public institutions are subject to the new measure, and those that violate the rules will pay penalties of as much as 3 million won ($2,100), according to the ministry. In addition to temperature controls, the use of indoor and outdoor lighting will be reduced, the statement said.
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