Don’t agonize over an expensive electricity bill alone—payment arrangements are smart and can save you from late fees
When hit by an unexpectedly large electricity bill that puts a strain on your finances, the most important thing is to quickly draw up a new payment plan. Negotiating a payment arrangement can be a hit to your self-esteem, but from an economic point of view it makes sense. In negotiations, an understanding payment advisor takes each customer’s overall debt situation into account. The savings from making a payment arrangement can turn out to be manifold compared to paying the collection and payment default fees of an electricity bill.
The exceptional situation in the electricity market and its ensuing rapid rise in electricity prices are putting households under strain. Customers’ concerns about their ability to pay have led them to increasingly contact customer service since August. Some are negotiating for flexible payment plans for the first time in their lives.
“If you are concerned about or having challenges paying your network service, or distribution, fees, my best advice is to immediately contact our payment advisors. We want to cooperate with our customers to organise their invoicing matters in a way that prevents them from becoming overburdened with debt and problems,” advises Oulun Energia Sähköverkko’s customer relations manager Janne Kaarlela.
Ropo Capital handles the payment advice for Oulun Energia Sähköverkko Oy’s network service invoices. You can receive personal assistance from the payment advisors by phone or more flexibly from the Ropo Online service, where you can check information regarding your network service invoices, change your payment due date, make a payment plan, or chat with a specialist.
However, in the case of invoices sent by electricity retailers, you must contact the retailers' own payment advisors directly. You can find the contact information for the payment advisors on your invoice. If you find yourself in a situation where either your electricity or network service bills remain unpaid, the network company will have to cut off your electricity.
“At this time, overdue invoices, late payment and collection fees, and fees for disconnecting and connecting electricity may grow to total much more than the original invoices. We cannot reconnect the electricity until all the above fees have been paid. That is why looking ahead is so important,” Kaarlela notes.
Optimise your own energy use
You can relieve the total amount of your bills by making your own preparedness choices, such as weighing the options for heating your home, ventilation, food preparation, and transportation. You can find useful tips and instructions for conserving electricity on Oulun Energia’s website, for example.
“This is a challenging situation across Europe. I encourage everyone to assess their own electricity consumption habits, but I especially recommend households in electrically heated homes and those where domestic hot water is produced with a hot water boiler to be prepared," Kaarlela says.
Oulun Energia Sähköverkko cannot affect the pricing set by electricity retailers. However, Oulun Energia Sähköverkko’s distribution prices are clearly lower than the national average, and the Energy Authority oversees reasonable pricing.
For more information about electricity bill payments: Payment matters relating to electricity bills - Ropo Capital (in Finnish only)