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  • P-ISSN 2586-2995
  • E-ISSN 2586-4130

KDI Journal of Economic Policy. Vol. 41, No. 1, February 2019, pp. 43-58

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Why Are Peak Loads Observed during Winter Months in Korea?


Author & Article History

Manuscript received 04 May 2018; revision received 09 May 2018; accepted 20 February 2019.


Since 2009, electricity consumption has developed a unique seasonal pattern in South Korea. Winter loads have sharply increased, and they eventually exceeded summer peaks. This trend reversal distinguishes these load patterns from those in the USA and the EU, where annual peaks are observed during the summer months. Using Levene’s test, we show statistical evidence of a rise in temperature but a decrease in variance over time regardless of the season. Despite the overall increase in the temperature, regardless of the season there should be another cause of the increased demand for electricity in winter. With the present study using data from 1991 to 2012, we provide empirical evidence that relatively low electricity prices regulated by the government have contributed significantly to the rapid upward change in electricity consumption, specifically during the winter months in the commercial sector in Korea.


Electricity Demand, Energy Demand, Commercial Sector, Price Elasticity

JEL Code

L94, Q41, Q48, Q51, Q54

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