In an effort to cope with rising international oil prices triggered by unrest in the Middle East, the government raised the energy alert level from “concern’’ to “caution.” The higher level calls for all decoration-purpose lighting to be turned off at water fountains, monuments, and bridges, lowering the level of illumination for streets.
According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the policy will be taking effect from big buildings such as apartments, universities, commercial-residential buildings, and neon lighting for banks to showrooms at departments and car dealerships. These buildings are encouraged to be switched off after midnight and obligated to use only half of their normal lighting.
“Korea has also become to be more aware of the importance of energy as it has been the issue internationally due to the situations in Japan and Libya,” said Jin Sung-kyu, the manager of the Energy-Saving Policy Department at the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
For Ewha, a few elevators in the Ewha Campus Complex (ECC), lightings on the International Education Building and the main gate were selected to take action.
“As the government wants to cut back on energy usage, decoration-purposed building was probably be the best target because it does not critically affect daily life,” said Kim Sung-lim, the faculty member of Facilities Maintenance at the Office of Financial Affairs. “For Ewha, the highest energy usage was estimated in the ECC facilities, so we decided to encourage people to use the elevator less by altering the operation.”
“It could be inconvenient but I understand and respect the school’s decision, and hope others cooperate as well,” So Da-mi (Economics, 2) said.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy expects this policy of reducing unnecessary energy at government buildings to create a concrete step for a nationwide campaign in saving energy.