News / 19.5.2016

Helen Sähköverkko Oy: Managing Director’s review 1-4 / 2016

Electricity distribution was very much the focus of public attention in the early part of the year as many network companies increased their distribution prices. Helen Sähköverkko also increased its electricity distribution price by 9% as from 1 April 2016. The security of electricity supply continued at an excellent level.

 Distribution service 

Electricity use in Helsinki has stayed more or less at the same level over the past ten years. During the early part of this year, a small change was seen in this trend when electricity use in January–April grew by 3.5% on the previous year’s level.

The security of supply in electricity distribution was excellent. The average outage time per customer over the past 12 months was 2.8 minutes.

Helen Sähköverkko’s distribution price grew by an average of 9% on 1 April 2016. The previous change in distribution prices took place at the beginning of last year when the prices fell by 9%. As a result of the latest increase in 2016, the distribution prices increased to the 2014 level.

In connection with the change in distribution prices, we moved back the start time of the lower-priced night-time period in the time-of-day distribution product. As a result, the time limits of day/night pricing now comply with the general time division in the energy sector.

New services

We are improving the operating preconditions of solar power and other microgeneration. By utilising hourly metering data, we are creating an operating model for benefit sharing of the electricity tax and distribution fees of microgeneration installed in a property for the shareholders of a property company. Next, we will look for a residential property to be used as a pilot project where the residents will be able to take advantage of this operating model.

Electronic services have been developed. After moving to a new home, customers can request remote reconnection of electricity by text message if the automatic reconnection has failed due to an electrical appliance being switched on. Customers will also have an opportunity to order free text message notifications about power cuts affecting their home.

Social media is used in communications, e.g. the company’s operations and power cuts are reported on Twitter.

Investments ensure continued security of electricity supply 

In order to maintain the good level in the security of supply, we will build a high-capacity double circuit cable connection between two electricity substations, Suvilahti and Viikinmäki. The new cable connection will be commissioned at the end of this year.

We are making provisions for the growth of the electricity consumption in Kalasatama by building a new electricity substation. The construction work will start in April. The urban landscape will be taken into account in the construction, e.g. a graffiti fence will be built around the substation.

Refurbishment investments in the Punavuori and Töölö electricity substations have been completed. Work is currently under way at the Laajasalo substation. New substations also have earth-fault current compensation equipment, which reduces power cuts to customers. 

Changes in the operating environment 

The Energy Authority supervises the reasonableness of pricing by network companies. A new four-year regulatory period of electricity network operations started at the beginning of the year. The increases in distribution prices related to the new regulatory period made the headlines in the early part of the year, and a legislative amendment process was launched due to the increases that were deemed unreasonable. The planned amendments include, e.g. a cap on one-time price increases and their frequency.

A review of the definition of the national grid and the local distribution network has continued in the Market Court. The definition of the extent of the grid of the national grid company Fingrid Oyj is against the interests of electricity users in Helsinki in several respects, and an appeal has been lodged with the Market Court.

All customers are treated equally   

The operation of an electricity network company must be equal and non-discriminatory towards all electricity vendors and customers. The implementation of this was assessed in an internal audit. No serious non-compliance was detected in the audit.

HSV’s employees had no occupational accidents during the review period. 

Helsinki 9 May 2016

Risto Harjanne, Managing director