LG and Samsung caught stealing cheap industrial electricity
There are two kinds of electricity in South Korea. No, just kidding, there’s only one – but with two separate price tiers. The cheapest (by far) is supposed to be for industrial use only. Manufacturing, mining, and other production equipment and facilities (read: factories) go here. And then there’s the ‘normal’ priced electricity, which is for offices, R&D centers, general purpose buildings, and so on.
So, now that you know all this, would it surprise you to find out that certain companies have been found to have used the cheap ‘industrial’ electricity for ‘normal’ usage as well?
It turns out that Samsung and LG are on a list of companies in Korea that have done exactly that – only paying for the cheaper stuff instead of buying more expensive electricity for offices and such (even golf courses!). This has been going on, get this, since 2004. In Korea, apparently this is called ‘stealing electricity’ (even if that’s not factually accurate). Obviously, the practice saved LG and Samsung a lot of money, but now they have a steep price to pay for that.
According to Korean regulations, those who are caught ‘stealing electricity’ like this have to pay twice the price difference – so twice the amount that they’ve saved. That should (hopefully) teach them.