2017 at Caruna: EUR 277 million was spent on improvement in the electricity network, extending the weatherproof electricity network to over 71% of Caruna’s customers – renewable energy continues to grow
The cabling rate of Caruna’s networks increased in 2017, as the laying of underground cables actively continued nationwide. Caruna’s total investments amounted to EUR 291 million, of which EUR 277 million was mainly allocated to the reliability of network operations. At year-end, the weatherproof network extended to 71% of Caruna’s customers. More than a thousand new small-scale producers of renewable energy were connected to Caruna’s network.
Net sales of Caruna Networks Group (Caruna) amounted to EUR 426 million in 2017 (2016: EUR 384 million), with an increase of 11% on the previous year. This growth was largely attributed to the ending of discounted fixed basic fees in electricity distribution in March 2017. Otherwise distribution prices remained unchanged. The profit for the period was EUR 29 million, compared with a loss of EUR 32 million in the previous year. Caruna paid EUR 6.3 million in corporation taxes, as well as EUR 254 million of electricity taxes and VAT. Nearly half of electricity distribution fees paid by customers is made up of taxes.
Network improvement programme continued
Caruna’s network improvement programme across its network areas progressed well around Finland, further improving the reliability of electricity distribution to customers. Caruna invested EUR 277 million in the development of its electricity network in 2017 (2016: EUR 271 million). More than 6,000 kilometres (4,195 km) of small- and medium-voltage network was built. The programme’s focus expanded from urban areas to the countryside, as Caruna launched extensive network projects in several locations, for example in Ranua, Pudasjärvi, Sastamala, Kuusamo, Lohja and Raasepori. The total length of Caruna’s electricity network is 85,000 kilometres.
“We’re improving reliability of supply by replacing medium-voltage overhead lines with underground cabling that is protected against changing weather conditions. Last year Caruna increased its cabling rate from 36% to 45% and the amount of Caruna's customers covered by the weatherproof electricity network from 65% to 71%. Climate change increases the need to replace overhead lines with cables. We are also using more automation to better isolate faults, so that we can quicker move the electricity supply to the undamaged sections of the network,” said Caruna’s CEO Tomi Yli-Kyyny.
Customer volumes grew steadily
Caruna’s customer volumes increased by 1.2% to 672,000 (2016: 664,000). Based on its product offering, Caruna has three customer groups: Small, Power and Regional Network Customers.
In 2017, Caruna surveyed the wishes and expectations of its customers concerning pricing, products and services. The customer management and invoicing system was updated during the summer and the autumn.
Popularity of small-scale production of renewable energy increased
Small-scale production of various forms of renewable energy continued to grow more popular. Caruna’s network gained 1,223 new solar power systems and one new small-scale wind power producer. At the end of the year, Caruna’s network had 2,400 small-scale energy producers. In an effort to support the generation of renewable energy in its network areas, Caruna did not charge the distribution fees for electricity sales in 2017.
Renewed Management Team, no change in employee numbers
Tomi Yli-Kyyny started as Caruna’s new CEO on 1 May 2017. During the year under review, Caruna reformed its corporate strategy. In line with the new strategy, a reorganization of Caruna Management Team was carried out and the number of Management Team members was reduced. Caruna’s organisational structure was changed to improve customer focus.
“The purpose of this change is to improve our ability to serve both our customers and other key stakeholders,” said Tomi Yli-Kyyny.
At year-end, Caruna had 276 employees (2016: 273 employees). In addition, Caruna had a significant number of partners working in its network improvement programme, employing some 2,000 people directly and some 4,000 indirectly.
The financial statements of Caruna Networks Group, Caruna Oy and Caruna Espoo Oy can be found on the Caruna’s website. Caruna’s Annual Report will be published during the week starting March 26th. The Annual Report, which observes the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G4 Guidelines, will provide detailed information about Caruna’s activities in 2017.