Reliable electricity supply ensures smooth everyday lives of Vantaa residents
Our society is increasingly dependent on electricity. Vantaa Energy Electricity Networks works hard every day to ensure smooth electricity distribution and also looks to the future in anticipation of the needs of society and the customers.
Our society’s dependence on electricity is constantly increasing, and our everyday lives would be very difficult without electricity. Thanks to electricity, the lights are on and the coffeemaker is gurgling. We may take effective distribution of electricity for granted to such an extent that we only wake up to its existence when there are problems.
Vantaa Energy Electricity Networks distributes electricity to its 130,000 customers in a reliable way. In addition to a high security of supply and steady voltage, we aim to ensure that any power cuts are as brief as possible. In fault situations, our customers expect the power to be restored quickly under the circumstances.
– We have succeeded well in this task: our annual electricity supply outage time is, on average, a few minutes per customer. In accordance with our customer pledges, we can be reached every day and at every moment, around the clock and throughout the year, and we are ready to tackle any fault situations at once, says Risto Lappi, Managing Director of Vantaa Energy Electricity Networks Ltd.
Electricity distribution, and especially its price, have been the subject of active debate in our society in the past few years. First of all, we should point out that consumers pay for actual electric energy and its distribution service in their electricity bills. On top of that, there are taxes, a significant amount of which is charged in connection with the electricity distribution fee. The customer can choose the electric energy supplier, whereas distribution companies have a monopoly in a certain geographical area.
When talking about actual prices, it is worth taking several aspects into account. The maintenance of the electricity network is of vital importance to society, and the Electricity Market Act, which entered into force in 2013, obliges electricity distribution companies to guarantee an even higher security of electricity supply. This means even higher investments by the companies in the development and maintenance of the electricity network.
– The last time our electricity distribution prices were increased was in 2018 and, in a nationwide price comparison, our prices are among the lowest. As Vantaa Energy is owned by the Cities of Helsinki and Vantaa, our profits return to the cities through dividends and that way for the use of the residents, Lappi points out.
Long-term perspective to develop the electricity networks
The building and maintenance of a reliable electricity network is constant and long-term work. The technical lifespan of the electricity network is normally several decades. Therefore, when making investments, you must look into the future and estimate how the cities, the needs of customers, and consumption will develop in the longer term.
Vantaa Energy Electricity Networks improves the reliability of electricity distribution with various measures. In the rapidly developing Keimola area, we have an ongoing project where the overhead lines are replaced with underground cables, which improves the security of supply in the area. The technology of electricity substations is also renewed and the degree of automation in the electricity network is increased. These measures make fault diagnostics easier.
– The advance in technology makes our work even more effective. We constantly receive more and more metering data from our electricity network, and we can utilise this data, for example, when monitoring the network condition or investigating the reasons for a fault situation, Lappi explains.
Climate change can be mitigated by increasing electricity use
One of the key phenomena in our time is climate change, which has manifold implications for electricity distribution. As we know, climate change increases extreme events, such as storms, floods and rains. Electricity distribution companies are preparing for the change, for example, by replacing overhead lines, which are exposed to the elements, with underground cables. In Vantaa, 90 per cent of electricity is already distributed via underground cables.
Climate change also has an indirect impact on electricity distribution. In order to fight climate change, our society is moving from fossil fuels to renewable production that varies according to the weather, such as wind and solar power. At the same time, the use of electricity is increasing, for example, in transport and heating: in the future, we will be driving along in electric vehicles, and solar panels will take care of the electricity production for our homes to an increasing extent.
– As the electricity networks enable a change in the electricity generation structure and increased consumption, they must be able to operate even more reliably than at present, Lappi describes the significance of electricity distribution companies in the current transition of the entire electricity system.
As society changes, new kinds of services will be created. Vantaa Energy Electricity Networks is already helping its customers, for example, in the sizing of solar power systems and electric vehicle charging points. In addition, customers can use the online service to monitor their electricity consumption history to the nearest hour and use this information to make responsible choices related to their own consumption.
Risto Lappi, Managing Director of Vantaa Energy Electricity Networks Ltd, takes care of the electricity lines and cables in the Vantaa region and everything that is related to the functioning of the electricity network.