Openness and trust and active interaction with our customers are important elements in our operations. They have become all the more important as the electricity market is undergoing a shift and the operating environment is changing at a face pace.
In May, we published a discussion paper to open up a dialogue on the future of the electricity market. Its purpose was to express our concern about the weakening viability of the electricity market and to present concrete measures to stimulate the electricity market in order to ensure that the switch to a low-carbon electricity system is achieved cost-effectively for society as a whole. Customers embraced Fingrids initiative, and we received more than 30 instances of written feedback from electricity market players. The topic was also discussed in several bilateral meetings, in Fingrids customer committees and at customer events throughout the year. We wish to continue the discussion going forward. In addition, we have already launched pilot projects and concrete measures to reach the goals together with the players in the sector.
Our co-operation with our customers in the data hub development project has been very lively. This project, related to a future information exchange solution for the electricity retail market, has received a lot of positive feedback for being open and for engaging stakeholders in defining the processes. Customers are also aware of the magnitude of the change and the tight schedule. This has also raised some concern. Customers are primarily interested in the improvement in the quality of information preceding the rollout of the data hub. Webinars, guidelines and info sessions on preparing for the data hub are in the pipeline for next year.
The entry into force of European network codes pertaining to the transmission system and electricity market kept Fingrid and its customers busy during 2016. To clear the jungle of network codes, we created a network code forum, which is open to all players.
The new reactive power delivery terms that entered into force at the start of the year were a hot topic among grid customers. Due to the cabling of the distribution network, among other things, the volume of reactive power in the grid has grown to the extent where it is fair to allocate the costs for compensation to those who give rise to the need for compensation on a connection-point-specific basis. For some customers, complying with the new delivery terms has proven to be a challenge, and we have teamed up with our customers to devise solutions for this. In December, we also organised a Reactive Power Day where we presented the monitoring and invoicing principles for reactive power, and customers recounted their experiences with practical compensation solutions.
In 2016, we consulted with customers through a number of interviews and surveys in order to develop our operations. The results of these surveys show that our customers are fairly satisfied with us, but that their expectations are growing. Fingrid is expected to have greater insight into and a better understanding of its customers business, cost-effectiveness and services that meet customer needs.
One key development area in our operations is electronic services, which is why we launched several new services during the year. We launched the ediel.fi portal, which enables the electricity retail markets information exchange operators to exchange information and ensures the effective functioning of their communications. We made electricity quality measurement services available to TSOs to help them identify quality deviations and investigate detected fault situations. In the summer, we launched the most popular service on our website, the State of the power system, in the form of the Fingrid Online mobile app. In early 2017, the measurements describing the state of the power system will also be made available in the applications of our customers and third parties through an open interface. Going forward, electronic services will continue to be one of our development priorities. Our objective is to harmonise and clarify them further to ensure that our customers have easy access to all of the information they require in one location.
Customers' trust in Fingrid
Price of electricity service
Picture: Costs related to transmission system operation, such as investments, loss power, system services, but not directly related to transmission system operation, such as public service obligations, feed-in tariff for renewable energy, and peak load capacity. The comparison includes the EEA countries with a grid company in charge of both 110 kV and 400 kV structure.
The 15 countries included in the comparison are: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the UK.
Key events of 2016
Customers praise smooth co-operation and willingness to develop the electricity market
We measure the development of customer satisfaction annually. In our 2016 survey, our customers praised us for, among other things, the smoothness of co-operation and our strong efforts to develop the electricity market. However, there is still room for improvement in understanding our customers’ business and their needs.
Customers’ familiarity with Fingrid’s operations increased clearly from the previous year. Seventy-one per cent of respondents know Fingrid’s operations fairly well or very well, compared to 59 per cent a year earlier. At the same time, expectations towards Fingrid have increased. Customers expect Fingrid to have greater insight into and a better understanding of its customers’ business and provide them with services that meet their needs. Seventy-three per cent of respondents would recommend our way of working with customers, compared to 75 per cent in the previous year.
According to the survey, the aspects that are most important to customers in Fingrid’s operations are the equal treatment of customers, the cost-effectiveness of the solutions, services that meet customers’ needs and Fingrid’s willingness and ability to co-operate. Compared to the previous year, our customers were slightly more critical about Fingrid’s performance in these areas. However, our customers gave Fingrid’s operations a good overall score of 4.0 (on a scale of 1–5).
The data was gathered in the form of an email survey carried out by Innolink Research Oy. The response rate was 27 per cent.