The Finnish Electricity Market, opened also for small-scale consumers

Eero Pere
Finnish Electricity Association

In 1995 the new Electricity Market Act brought open competition to the electricity market. In the first stage, the parties involved were large users whose power requirement was over 500 kW. As of the beginning of 1997, small users were also allowed to purchase their electricity on the open market.
As there are multiple sellers on the network there should be a way to measure the users’ consumption of electricity on an hourly basis for balance upkeeping. Unfortunately meters capable of doing this have been too expensive for some consumers (typically small-scale industry or households with 3 x 63 A or 45 kW connections) to acquire.
The September 1998 amendment to the Electricity Market Act removed the need for a special meter for small users. The deviation from hourly registering metering can be made on the following basis:
"The balance settlement shall be based on the metering of electricity or a combination of metering and load curve and on statements on supplies as stipulated by the Act. The ministry will provide more detailed regulations on the load curves, their application and necessary meterings."
This was done using a method called load profiling. Reimbursement between retailers is based on load curves and normal energy measurement. End users are divided into various categories such as households with, or without electric heating. The role of load curves is to describe how the consumption of electricity in each category varies hourly.
After these changes in the playing rules of the electricity market it can be said that Finland is the first European electricity market that truly is 100 % open.