Transparent fault reporting services
Elenia has made its electricity network outage communications services completely transparent to customers and other stakeholders. The company provides customers with real-time information on power outages via telephone, free text messages, an online map service and a mobile application.
Elenia Mukana, the new mobile application, increased in popularity in 2013, making outage management services even more effective. Our customers can use the free mobile application on smartphones and tablets to check whether electricity is running in their locations and submit fault notifications with images. In addition, they can report faults that are threatening the electricity network.
Since the Janika storm in 2001, Elenia has operated in accordance with a preparedness plan during major electricity distribution disruptions caused by storms, snow and thunderstorms. The preparedness plan is updated regularly. The latest comprehensive update was done in 2013, and extensive training was organised for employees on preparing for and managing major disruptions. Normal outage situations are managed in accordance with outage management process.
New Electricity Market Act initiating new requirements for outage management
Introduced in 2013, the revised Electricity Market Act improves the position of the customer. The Act includes maximum limits for the duration of power outages: six hours in zoned areas and 36 hours in other areas with a few exceptions, such as the archipelago. The limits will be implemented gradually, so that the quality requirement will concern 50% of customers by the end of 2019 and all customers by the end of 2028.
Elenia is the only electricity company in Finland that pays additional compensation for power outages lasting for more than six hours. This compensation method was introduced in 2009. The company pays legal- and additional compensations automatically.
Contractor partners participating in service development
All of the four storms – Reima, Eino, Oskari and Seija – in late 2013 affected Elenia’s network area. Eino and Seija were particularly strong, causing nearly as extensive outages as the worst storms: Janika in 2001 and Tapani and Hannu at the end of 2011. The electricity distribution network suffered extensive damage in Häme, Pirkanmaa, Central Finland, Southern and Northern Ostrobothnia regions. More than 700 persons participated in repairing and outage management for the four storms.
In 2010, Elenia was the first network company to introduce remotely readable smart electricity meters in outage management, which significantly accelerated fault repairing also during the storms of 2013. The meters enable targeted regional queries, enabling enhanced management of low voltage network repairing works with faster access to the fault sites.
The preparedness plan was systematically reviewed after the storms to ensure continuous improvement. Our contractor partners are participating in the development work. Cooperation with partners is the most efficient way to manage outage situations where the mobility of field crews is important as the repairs progress.
To ensure cost-efficiency, Elenia has implemented innovative operating methods in its cooperation with contractors. For example, partners have remote access to Elenia’s distribution management systems.
The development of network technology, data communications and software solutions in cooperation with partners has accelerated the process of fault location and restoration of supply. For significant number of customers, electricity supply can be restored through automated devices in fault situations. Elenia’s data communication solution for automated electricity network devices makes use of wireless broadband and satellite connections, which speeds up operations. Already in the late 2011 Elenia introduced an innovative software solution which utilizes smart grid components and enables fully automated fault location, -isolation and restoration of supply in medium voltage network outages.