Joint construction

We are building an electricity network to last

We are building an electricity network underground so you can rest assured that you will not be interrupted. This may mean you can work efficiently from home, make food or handle other day-to-day chores without being interrupted by a power cut.

We are building an electricity network that will not be affected by the increasingly frequent incidents of storm, wind and snow damage. It will be able to handle electric cars being charged and hams being roasted in almost a million homes every Christmas. The weatherproof electricity network will safeguard the operating capacity of hospitals and health care centres, the flow of traffic and the accessibility of digital services.

The weatherproof electricity network will safeguard your everyday activities, work and health care.

It is our objective that customers will be able to benefit from the modernisation of the network as weather-related outages and power cuts become shorter and less frequent. The network improvement work primarily focuses on medium-voltage overhead cables in forests and sparsely populated areas with the greatest residential density and amounts of electricity transferred. Alongside our work to put overhead lines underground, we are also building automation for the electricity network and improving the reliability of electricity distribution by taking various maintenance measures.

This year, we are shifting our focus on improving electricity distribution in population centres. Our lorries and excavators are getting closer to more densely populated areas.

An electricity network is being built in your neighbourhood

In summer 2019, we will begin putting the low-voltage network underground. The low-voltage network is the electric line that connects your home to Caruna's transformers or pylons. We are dismantling the old electricity network that uses overhead lines on pylons and replacing it with an underground electricity network. At the same time, we are increasing the amount of automation in the electricity network, which will help us to make sure that any faults in the network can be quickly identified and repaired.

You will see signs that we have been in your neighbourhood improving the electricity distribution. Roads and ditches will be dug up, lorries will bring various electricity network materials to the building site, and workers will be around and about, installing the new network and dismantling the old power lines. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this building work will cause.

While work is ongoing, there may be some short power cuts and other things of note

When the old electricity network is dismantled or the modernised deployed, there may be some short breaks in electricity distribution. We will inform you of any outages in advance. Are you already using Caruna's Sähkövahti alert service? If so, you will receive information about power cuts in your area, either on your mobile phone or by email.

We may need to arrange temporary diversions for pedestrians and motorists. The diversions will be signposted.

Please keep safety in mind when you are near the building site. Do not go near power lines – it is not safe. Even if power lines are hanging down on the ground, they may still be live. Please do not touch the electricity network materials such as cable housing or marker poles. If rolls of cable or other materials are causing an obstruction in the area, please let us know by sending us a message. The contact details for our customer service team are on our website.

You can check the building sites in your neighbourhood, as well as the upcoming network improvement sites, on our map service.

Construction phases

There are several phases in construction, but not all of them will be visible to residents on a day-to-day basis.

  • Caruna is buying the work in from contractors. We always make agreements with contractors, and both parties adhere to the agreement.
  • We are beginning to design the electricity network, and this will take about six months, depending on the area.
  • Once the design is finished, we will begin building the new electricity network. This will take about a year, depending on the area. The time is affected by things like the terrain and the weather (for example, in the springtime, frost may be a factor).
  • After commissioning, the old electricity network will be dismantled and finishing work will begin. During the finishing work, the electricity network materials will be taken away, and the yards and streets will be cleaned up and left in at least the same condition they were in when the project started.
  • The project will be completed within 1–2 years.
  • When it is complete, we will conduct the appropriate inspections. For example, we will check that the new electricity network has been installed to at least the depth required by standards (70 cm below ground level).

We will communicate the construction phases by means such as text messages. Make sure that we have your contact details. You can check and update your contact details on My pages.

We will answer your questions in our social media channels on weekdays between 8 am and 4 pm. Feel free to contact us!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/caruna.fi
Twitter: www.twitter.com/CarunaSuomi
Instagram: @carunasuomi

If you have any questions and you cannot find the answer on our website, or if you would like to give us any feedback on our construction work, please send us a message.  

 

CONTACT US

You can also chat with one of our service specialists. The chat service operates on weekdays between 8 am and 4 pm. The chat window will appear on this page when one of our specialists is available to answer your questions.

Frequently asked questions about building an electricity network

Here are the most frequently asked questions about building an electricity network. If these do not provide the answers you need, see our website for more questions and answers.

Why does the network need to be upgraded?

Most of Finland's electricity network was constructed when electricity was brought to the countryside in the 1960s and 1970s. It has been continually maintained and has served us long and well, but it is now, in many ways, approaching the end of its technical lifecycle. Climate change is increasing the risks of damage to old overhead lines caused by storms and snow. 

In 2028, our customers will have an electricity network that keeps going, even in the most challenging weather conditions. 

In addition to weatherproofing the network, Caruna is overhauling its electricity network to incorporate the option of offering our customers a smart electricity network, replete with solar panels and electric cars. Smart networks will also provide customers with information on their electricity consumption and suggest measures they could take to use electricity in a more environmentally friendly way. 

The storm known as Aapeli showed us that the network improvement measures were beginning to bear fruit. More and more of our customers are covered by the weatherproof network. In population centres, power cuts are becoming shorter and less frequent.

Why don't you just cut down trees near the network? Why do you need to bury the cables?

The reliability of electricity distribution is being improved in several ways, including cabling, increasing the amount of automation, and ring connections. We are also keeping the power line corridors and the areas near power lines clear so that wind or snow cannot knock trees down onto the lines.

A few years ago, we reviewed the power line corridors – the areas with overhead power lines – on the electricity networks in our network area. The project involved substantial network improvement work with the help of foresters and helicopter clearing. The power line corridors were made clearer and tidier, thereby improving the reliability of electricity distribution. Over the long term, the most sustainable solution is to put overhead lines underground, where they will be better protected from the elements.

For more information about electricity network maintenance, see our website.

How much of your network has already been cabled?

At the moment, approximately 45% of the entire network is cabled, and 71% of our customers are now covered by the weatherproof network. As we mentioned, the cabling work will now progress to the low-voltage network in residential areas.

How much of the network do you aim to have cabled by 2028?

We are not looking at this in terms of percentages – instead, we are upgrading the network's reliability (power cuts in population centres must not last more than six hours, and power cuts in sparsely populated areas must not last more than 36 hours). The reliability of the network involves more than just cabling.

The requirements of the Electricity Market Act concerning reliability of supply do not require the network to be completely cabled. Reliability of supply will be achieved through underground cabling, fault-rectification resources and efficiency, using automation, various network structure solutions such as ring connections, and maintenance, including clearing forests. The actions and technical solutions can be decided by the electricity distribution companies themselves, but they are monitored using development plans submitted to the Energy Authority.

You have been working on improving the electricity network since 2012. How has this affected power cuts and what has happened during storms?

The storm known as Aapeli in January 2019 showed us that the network improvement measures (cabling and forest-clearing measures) were beginning to bear fruit. More and more of our customers are covered by the weatherproof network (2017: 71 %). In population centres, power cuts are becoming shorter and less frequent.

The location and severity of storms and natural phenomena affect the annual numbers of faults.

Joint fibre-optic construction

We construct our electricity network together with other operators whenever possible. In January 2019, we began working with Telia. Joint construction of the electricity network is a sensible option for the environment and for citizens: at best, it can spare local residents from repeated disruption due to excavation work and reduce the burden on the environment.

Modern society is based on high-quality data connections, widespread use of information technology and reliable access to electricity

Joint construction also enables us to ensure that more areas with small houses are included, and that work is done in a more environmentally friendly way. 

Optical fibre provides faster internet connections, which can offer data transfer rates of up to 1,000 Mbps, enabling the best possible digital services. Optical fibre enables residents and companies in an area to begin using all of the newest internet, television, video, communications and health services.

Are you interested in a modern and reliable internet connection?

Caruna is building a fibre-optic network in the Southwest Finland region in partnership with Telia (link to the press release here). If you live in this area, you will be able to obtain a fixed network connection when we put the electricity network underground.

Telia is responsible for selling the fast fibre-optic connections that Caruna is building. They will visit the areas where the fibre-optic network is being built and talk to you about buying a fibre-optic network connection. If optical fibre is available in your area, you will receive a letter or postcard from Telia with more information.

The construction work on the fibre-optic network is being planned by Caruna's contractor, which will also be responsible for building and installing the fibre-optic network. The construction work that will be done on customers' sites and in their homes will be planned by Caruna's contractor.

If you are already interested in getting a fibre-optic connection, go to the Open Fibre website to find out more.

Frequently asked questions about optical fibre

Optical fibre can stir up all sorts of ideas. We have compiled a few questions and answers to help you. If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please contact Telia.

Is optical fibre always installed when Caruna upgrades its electricity network?

This is the aim, providing that it makes financial sense. Telia and Caruna evaluate every area individually. For example, if there is already a fibre-optic network in the area, it is not worth building a second, overlapping fibre-optic network. Construction of optical fibre also depends on whether the local residents are interested in it. Construction of optical fibre also depends on whether the local residents are interested in it: it is not worth building an entirely new fibre-optic network if only a few households plan to connect to it.

Who is paying for all this?

The fibre-optic network is only paid for by the households that decide to buy a fibre-optic connection. Households will pay connection fees for their fibre-optic connections as soon as the connection is complete, and the fee will cover part of the construction costs, while Telia's investments will cover the remainder.

The costs of building the fibre-optic network will not affect the price of electricity distribution, so electricity distribution customers will not be left to foot the bill.

You have made an agreement with Telia. Will this increase or decrease the price that customers will pay for fibre? Is it cheaper for customers?

Households will make their own decisions on whether they want to invest in a fibre-optic connection. Naturally, if they do not want a fibre-optic connection, this will not cost them anything.

Telia is offering connections made under this agreement at a lower price than the connections that Telia implements on its own because Telia is installing optical fibre at the same time as Caruna is upgrading its electricity network. If a customer buys a fibre connection later on, Telia will build the fibre network on its own. Consequently, the costs of connecting to the fibre-optic network will be higher in such cases.

How much does a fibre connection cost?

Telia will communicate the price to local residents when we begin building the new electricity network in the area. The greatest benefit of increasing the amount of joint construction is that it will make fibre available to more areas and residents.

Our partner, Telia, will be happy to answer any other questions about the price of optical fibre. The contact details are on Telia's website.

Why do we have to pay for fibre?

Only households that have decided to connect to the fibre-optic network will be charged a connection fee. The connection fee only covers a part of the actual construction cost of the connection and the hardware investments that the operator is required to make.

The electricity network company will recoup the costs of developing the electricity network from the electricity distribution fees. The Energy Authority supervises electricity network companies to ensure their rate of return is reasonable as provided for in the Electricity Market Act.

What are the environmental impacts of joint construction?

When Caruna and Telia do their cabling at the same time, it improves resource efficiency and reduces the amount of waste. Joint construction means that fewer machines, work phases and materials are needed. Cabling and the increasing rate of automation in the new network will reduce the disruption caused by power cuts, as well as the need for fieldwork in the future (including fault repair). This will all serve to minimise the environmental impact during construction. 

One direct environmental impact of cabling is that land will be freed up for other uses. These areas could be forested or used as fields, making them effective carbon sinks.

Will this hold back the upward pressure on electricity distribution prices?

The Energy Authority monitors companies to ensure a reasonable rate of return on electricity distribution. Pricing and the so-called "permitted turnover" are affected by several factors, such as investments, the unit prices imposed by the Authority for the monitoring period, the interest rate and the company's operating expenses. Due to the foregoing, the improvements in cost-efficiency arising as a consequence of joint construction will affect the prices of electricity distribution over the long term.

Furthermore, construction of the fibre-optic network is separate from Caruna's electricity distribution business.

Read more about the pricing of electricity distribution.

Why can't I get fibre when Caruna is building a fibre-optic network on the next street over?

Fibre will be built when it makes financial sense. The proposed new operating model is based on joint construction of the electricity and fibre-optic networks. If the electricity network is already cabled, the benefits of joint construction cannot be realised. However, Telia also offers construction of optical fibre in such areas if there are enough customers interested in fibre connections.

The Electricity Market Act requires a weatherproof electricity network to be built everywhere in Finland. As such, some of the cabling projects for the electricity network may be located so far from hubs in the fibre-optic network that it is not possible to build fibre-optic connections.