Electricity producer, electricity distributor, and electricity supplier—who does what?
What is the difference between Oulun Energia Group and Oulun Energia Sähköverkko Oy? What about who distributes your electricity, who produces it, and why doesn’t Oulun Energia sell electricity ourselves?
Electricity producer—Oulun Energia’s own production
Oulun Energia Group’s power plants produce and distribute electricity to the national grid, operated by Fingrid, from which it can be distributed to consumers. Oulun Energia sells the electricity it produces through the Nord Pool power exchange. The cogenerated heat produced from power plants is distributed to customers through our district heating network. Our subsidiary Oulun Energia Sähköverkko Oy is responsible for distributing the electricity from the power plant to the customer.
Oulun Energia Oy produces electricity at the Merikoski power plant. Wood and peat are used to produce electricity and district heating at the Toppila power plant. Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) and various biomasses are used to produce electricity, district heat, and process steam at the Laanila biopower plant, built in 2020. Meanwhile, non-recyclable waste such as municipal waste is processed into steam and district heating for industrial purposes at the ecopower plant.
By developing our services to be more carbon neutral, we are ensuring safe and reliable services in production, as well as in providing electricity and heat.
The procurement of electricity supply and shares in other companies
Oulu Energy also procures electricity by purchasing it from the market and by owning shares in hydropower and wind power, for example. Oulun Energia owns shares in wind power through, among other things, EPV Energia Oy, in the Metsälä wind farm in Kristiinankaupunki and in the Santavuori wind farm in Ilmajoki. In addition, it owns 25% of Finland’s largest wind park in Lestijärvi, to be put into use in 2025.
Electricity distributor—Oulun Energia Sähköverkko Oy
Electricity produced in power plants must be distributed to customers. In Oulu, Kiiminki, and Yli-Ii, Oulun Energia Sähköverkko Oy ensures that you receive the electricity purchased through your electricity supplier and that any faults in the electricity network are repaired as soon as possible. You pay a fixed fee for a functioning electric power network, even if you are not using electricity. In addition, you pay for the network service based on your electricity consumption. The network service cannot be put out to tender.
For example, electricity from a hydroelectric power plant is distributed either via Fingrid’s national grid or directly to a power plant from which the electric power network built by the electricity network distributor starts. The electricity network distributor builds connections between its own power plants, from them to distribution substations through a medium-voltage network, and onwards to users via a low-voltage network.
Cabling has improved the security of supply of the electric power network, but there are also some overhead lines.
The electricity network distributor lays the cables to the border of the property. Meanwhile, the internal electric power network of the property is the responsibility of the customer. The electricity network distributor is responsible for measuring electricity consumption and production through the electricity meter.
You must sign up with the electricity network distributor if you are building a house in the distributor’s operating area. It is not necessary to cancel the service when moving out; it is sufficient to mention the transfer of the network connection to the buyer in the deed of sale.
You may contact the distributor’s fault service line about faults in the electric power network, such as a tree that has fallen on the power line.
Electricity supplier—such as Oomi
In accordance with the Electricity Market Act (in Finnish), electricity network distributors have been separated from electricity suppliers. Oulun Energia Oy and Oulun Energia Sähköverkko Oy are therefore not retail electricity suppliers and for this reason, they do not have sale of electricity contracts with end consumers either.
In many cases, people confuse Oulun Energia and electricity network distributor Oomi, which is unsurprising as Oulun Energia is one of the founding shareholders of Oomi with a 25% share. The ten founding shareholders merged their electricity sales operations in the spring of 2020.
Important differences between Oulun Energia and electricity suppliers
- Oulun Energia is not an electricity supplier, which means that if you want to purchase electricity for your home or other property, you must contact your chosen electricity supplier.
- Also contact the electricity supplier when signing an electricity contract or with any other customer-related issues.
Good to know: There are two types of electricity invoices:
You may either receive a so-called joint invoice from your electricity supplier, with the totals for both the electricity supplier and the electricity network distributor broken down in the same invoice, or separate invoices from both companies.