South Korea will enforce extra energy-saving measures earlier than planned if international crude oil prices surpass 150 U.S. dollars per barrel, Yonhap news agency quoted the Ministry of Strategy and Finance as saying.
According to the ministry, the second-phase contingency plan could include restriction of private-sector vehicles and outdoor lights usage in addition to possible oil tax cuts.
The energy-saving measures were originally planned to take effect when international oil prices exceed 170 U.S. dollars per barrel but the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak ordered his economic team to enforce it earlier during a Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, the ministry said.
The move comes just two days after the South Korean government announced similar measures to reduce energy consumption mostly in the public sector, which has to use more public transportation and less air conditioners from July 15, Yonhap reported.
In addition, in order to help its citizens facing threats from soaring oil prices, the South Korean government announced on June 8 plans to spend around 10.5 trillion won (10.16 billion U.S. dollars), out of which over 7 trillion won was allocated to provide tax rebates for low-income earners.