Fingrid is an independent actor that serves all its customers equally. Fingrid offers grid, cross-border transmission and balance services to its customers, i.e. electricity producers, network operators and industry. Fingrid serves the electricity market by developing the market, maintaining adequate electricity transmission capacity, by removing bottlenecks in cross-border transmission links and by providing market data. We are also responsible for granting guarantee of origin certificates in Finland for electricity that has been generated using renewable energy sources or combined heat and power. In addition to being able to offer affordable services that meet customer needs, we value openness, trust and active interaction with our customers.
Although Fingrid’s operations are largely based on fulfilling a statutory obligation, we strive to live up to that task with a customer-focused approach as much as possible. We develop both the power system and the ground rules for the electricity market together with customers, and in 2018, customers were involved in various development projects as part of several customer working groups. In addition, the Advisory Committee and three customer committees help give a voice to customers.
We lowered grid service fees for 2019 by an average of eight per cent. The decrease in fees is made possible by the positive earnings development in the first part of 2018, excellent cost-effectiveness, a moderate investment rate and predicted slight growth in electricity consumption. Grid service fees are very cheap in Finland compared to the general level in Europe. Fingrid’s operations have a solid foundation and thus grid service fees are expected to remain stable also in the future.
In 2018, a study on capacity-based consumption fee options in grid service pricing was conducted. Behind it is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment’s smart grid working group’s interim report, which proposes that the possibility of power-based tariffs should be looked into not just for distribution networks, but also for the grid. Fingrid asked its customers to comment on the different pricing options. The majority of the feedback supported retaining the current pricing model. Power-based tariffs were seen to be linked to various problems, for instance, in relation to reserve connections, demand-side management and the transition to a 15-minute imbalance settlement period.
During the year, we organised two major customer events and several info sessions and webinars targeted at smaller audiences concerning, among other things, the Datahub project and the 15-minute imbalance settlement project. The themes of the Fingrid Current event held in the spring were the transformation of the power system and market changes, and the autumn event featured the themes of climate change mitigation and the transition to a clean power system.
During the year, training was organised for personnel working at the customer interface, focussing on increasing their overall understanding of customers and improving their interaction with customers.
For 2019, we set the target of developing customer dialogue and communication throughout our operations. Our first step is to renew our newsletter, and during the year we will provide comprehensive information about various electricity market development projects, the schedules for them and their interdependencies. In addition to the above, we will introduce new online services for our customers.
Customer satisfaction at Fingrid growing strongly by all measures
Customer satisfaction towards Fingrid has continued to develop in a positive direction since the previous year. Satisfaction with Fingrid’s operations has improved by all measures, and the grade given for various services has risen yet again. Fingrid’s approach to customer engagement was endorsed by 87 per cent of customers. The open-ended feedback and improvement proposals we receive are especially useful in terms of developing our operations. They will also form the basis for steering our operations in an even more customer-focused direction.
Figure: Price of electricity service. 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 transmission system operator in charge of both a 110-kilovolt and 400-kilovolt 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.
Fingrid named world’s best transmission system operator in CHARGE 2018 branding competition
Fingrid was selected as the world’s Best Transmission Brand in the international energy sector’s CHARGE 2018 branding competition. The competition was held for the third time in conjunction with the Branding Energy seminar in Iceland. The competition jury particularly valued Fingrid’s clear core messages, innovation and the national monopoly’s exceptional customer focus and openness.
The energy sector is becoming increasingly prominent in society. At the same time, the sector’s brands are gaining more and more attention. There were five categories in the CHARGE 2018 competition, which is aimed at companies in the sector, and Fingrid came out on top in the category of the world’s best transmission companies.
The winners were selected by a panel of experts, based on their analysis of consumer research and case studies. The panel of experts is made up of dozens of energy sector and branding experts, as well as business consultants, who come together to nominate the world’s best energy brands.
Customer engagement during the year
Fingrid organised several customer events during the reporting year. The biannual Fingrid Current event gathered close to 400 influencers under one roof. Our other events included meetings of the Advisory Committee and other committees, Reserve Day at Postitalo in Helsinki in May, Asset Management Development Days, 15-min imbalance settlement and Datahub regional meetings, and electricity market info on future changes in the sector.