31-year-old Park Hana says she dreads receiving "poktan" utility receipts at her 83-square-meter home in Gyeonggi province, as the air conditioner roars to shield her toddler from one of the worst heat waves in the North Asian nation.
Park’s household is among those paying more per unit of power than factories, under a program started during the mid-1970s to encourage then-fledgling industries.
"I can’t turn the air conditioner off because my kid won’t be able to sleep, and I can’t resist it either as my whole body soaks with sweat after walking home from work," Park said. "One night I had a nightmare about receiving my bill that stated I had to pay 3 million won."
In South Korea, a policy by the state-owned utility that charges residential customers progressively higher rates as usage increases has fueled protests across Asia’s fourth-biggest economy. Industrial users get a flat rate from Korea Electric Power Corp., and also pay lesser for their consumption during off-peak hours.
dread：動詞，畏懼、害怕、很擔心。I dread to think what they say about me behind my back.（我不敢去想他們在我背後說三道四。）
shield from：動詞片語，保護…、避免…。My mother held her hand above my eyes to shield them from the sun.（媽媽舉起她的手在我眼睛上方，幫我遮陽。）
fledgling：形容詞，剛萌芽的、沒經驗的。The current economic climate is difficult for fledgling businesses.（當前的經濟氣候對新創公司是個難關。）