Caruna in 2019: local progress is being made on building a reliable electricity network

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11.03.2020 at 16:37
Caruna is overhauling the electricity network at a healthy pace. An electricity network built to address future needs will be able to cope with higher electricity consumption and tolerate the stresses caused by climate change without long power cuts.

Since 2013, Caruna has systematically implemented a large-scale investment programme to improve the reliability of supply. Construction of the smart electricity network continued in 2019 in Caruna Oy, which mainly operates in rural areas. A total of 3,800 kilometres of electricity network was placed underground to protect it from the weather, and 3,600 kilometres of this was in Caruna Oy's area. The cabling rate increased to 56 (52) per cent of the network.  

So far, the company has made significant investments in modernising the medium-voltage network to ensure that as many customers as possible can avoid prolonged outages in the event of a disruption. The investment programme has reached the midway stage. In the future, the work will focus on the low-voltage network, which runs right past customers' front yards.  

"This also means that we will tailor our network construction methods to the local requirements. The distribution of electricity to customers on low-voltage networks in sparsely populated areas can often be assured by means other than underground cabling. We also need alternatives that are not yet possible for distribution network companies, such as electricity storage to balance out the network and safeguard electricity distribution in the event of a fault," says Tomi Yli-Kyyny, Caruna's CEO. 

Caruna considers the promotion of digitalisation to be an essential factor in safeguarding Finland's competitiveness, and it aims to promote the joint construction of electricity, fibre-optic and street-lighting networks.  Caruna and Telia successfully trialled the joint construction of fibre-optic and electricity networks in Southwest Finland last year, and the companies will continue working together in 2020. 

A positive carbon handprint through the promotion of small-scale electricity generation 

Caruna is concerned with combating climate change and ensuring that the Finnish energy system develops quickly enough to address future needs. In 2019, Caruna conducted a thorough assessment of the impacts of its operations on climate change and, conversely, the impacts of climate change on the company's operations.  

More than two-thirds of Caruna's carbon footprint arises in the procurement and supply chain. The materials used for network construction accounted for 40 per cent of the carbon footprint. In 2019, Caruna's partner Kuusakoski Oy processed approximately 95 (81) per cent of the scrap material created by Caruna's network projects.  

The study also assessed Caruna's carbon handprint – the positive effects of its operations. The connection of renewable energy to the electricity network had the greatest effect on the handprint. Solar power continued to grow in popularity, and by the end of 2019, approximately 6,600 (4,100) small-scale producers of solar power were connected to Caruna's networks.  

"Finland will need a strong and smart electricity network in order to enable much more emission-free renewable energy to be generated and to make it possible to increase the amount of electricity consumption. Our network carries approximately 30 per cent of the small-scale solar power production and approximately 15 per cent of all the wind power production generated in Finland", says Yli-Kyyny. 

Notable improvement in customer satisfaction 

Caruna's customer satisfaction improved significantly in 2019. The average Net Promoter Score (NPS) for 2019 was 24.2 (6.5).  

"Last year, we introduced new services to make our customers' everyday lives easier. In addition, Caruna's Resident Service reached out to customers in the areas where the network is being built. It was pleasing to note that the effort we have made to improve customer relations led to good results and our customer satisfaction rating increased significantly," Yli-Kyyny states.  

Caruna Oy's increased electricity distribution prices took effect on 1 November 2019. The price increases affected customers' total electricity distribution fees, including tax, by an average of 3.9 per cent. The electricity distribution prices remained unchanged in Caruna Espoo Oy’s network area. 

The corporate tax paid by Caruna increased again and was EUR 12.2 (10.3) million in 2019.The financial statements of Caruna Group, Caruna Oy and Caruna Espoo Oy as well as Caruna's Annual Report are available on the company website. The Annual Report also includes a corporate responsibility report prepared according to GRI Standards. 

Key financial (IFRS) and operative indicators for the Group  

EUR million or as indicated 

2019 

2018 

Net sales  

466.4 

454.1  

Profit for the period  

28.1 

18.5  

Corporate tax  

12.2 

10.3  

Investments  

167.3 

258.4  

Cash flow after investments  

-11.9 

-132.6  

Customers  

692,000 

683,000  

Network cabling rate, %  

56 

52  

Small-scale producers of solar power in the network area  

6,600 

4,100  

System Average Interruption Duration Index per customer (SAIDI), minutes  

79 

103  

Reliability of supply rate, %  

99.99 

99.98  

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