USFK overdue on nearly $2 million in electricity bills this year

News
F-16s from the 35th & 80th Fighter Squadrons conduct an elephant walk at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea Feb 3, 2016. The elephant walk tests the Air Force's ability to launch a large formation of aircraft with little notice. Nicholas Wilson/U.S. Air Force photo
From Stripes.com
F-16s from the 35th & 80th Fighter Squadrons conduct an elephant walk at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea Feb 3, 2016. The elephant walk tests the Air Force's ability to launch a large formation of aircraft with little notice. Nicholas Wilson/U.S. Air Force photo

USFK overdue on nearly $2 million in electricity bills this year

by: Kim Gamel | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: September 26, 2016

SEOUL, South Korea — U.S. Forces Korea owes nearly $2 million in unpaid electricity bills for the first seven months of the year, South Korea’s main news agency reported Sunday.

Yonhap also said the USFK is charged a lower rate per kilowatt hour compared with the South Korean military and residents.

The issue has drawn concern after South Korea experienced an unusually hot summer, which prompted calls to reform the nation’s electricity billing system that leads to expensive rates for residents.

USFK has failed to pay 1.99 million won ($1.8 million) in electricity costs from January to July, Yonhap said, citing data submitted by the Korea Electric Power Corp. to the National Assembly’s Trade, Industry and Energy Committee.

The missed payments would have drawn 55 million won ($50,000) in arrears charges, but USFK is exempt from those under a longstanding agreement with the country’s main electricity company, Yonhap said.

U.S. forces also used 23,953 kWh per person last year, nearly 10 times the usage rate of the South Korean military, according to the report.

USFK had no immediate comment.

Lee Chan-yeol, a member of the opposition Minjoo Party who serves on the energy committee, called on the government to update the longstanding contract with USFK, Yonhap said.