Committee work at Fingrid: Sharing information and giving customers a voice

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Committees give different customer groups the opportunity to present their views on Fingrid’s activities. The committees don’t make decisions, but they discuss matters and share information. The minutes of the meetings are public.

 

“Our goal in the committees is to obtain the views of different customer groups to support our decision-making. They are advisory bodies and make no decisions. The activities involve listening to introductions and having discussions based on them. The customer committees usually deal with principal topics rather than individual projects in detail,” says Senior Vice President Jussi Jyrinsalo, who is responsible for customers at Fingrid.

Earlier, Fingrid classified customers as companies and organisations that were connected directly to the main grid. Now the definition is broader.
“As a result of European network codes and the integrating market, a wider range of actors has begun to take an interest in Fingrid’s activities. We now have approximately 200 customers if these are taken into account,” states Jyrinsalo.

The composition of the Advisory Committee in 2017: Ilkka Latvala (left), Timo Honkanen, Matti Ryhänen, Tony Lindström, Juha Rintamäki, Esa Hyvärinen, Pekka Manninen, Jarmo Tanhua, Stefan Sundman, Riikka Hirvisalo-oja, Tuomas Timonen, Jarmo Kurikka, Jussi Jyrinsalo and Jukka Ruusunen.The new members this year are Timo Jokinen, Elina Kivioja, Mika Lehtimäki and Mikko Vuori.Latvala, Sundman, Tanhua and Timonen left the committee.

Bringing up the views of different customer groups

The Advisory Committee deals with Fingrid’s activities on a general level and has 12 members. The Grid Committee, Operations Committee and Market Committee each have 8–12 members as well as 2–3 Fingrid’s representatives. The term of office for a member is three years.

Fingrid invites new members to a committee so that its composition represents the customer groups equally.
“The committees have representatives from electricity producers, electricity distributors, large consumers and other electricity market actors. When a member changes, we look for a representative with the same profile and we also consider regional representation. We offer a vantage point on a national and European scale,” promises Jyrinsalo.

Openness is a key part of committee work.
“If it seemed like the committees were some sort of secret clubs where decisions are made behind the backs of others, they would have to be terminated in accordance with competition law. The key to committee work is transparency and openness. The agendas are published on the Fingrid website one week before the meeting and the minutes can be found in the same place after the meeting.

If one of our customers who is not part of a committee wants to comment on the issues being addressed, they can contact the secretary of the committee. We also encourage committee members to share the information they receive with their interest groups. If we make significant changes, we arrange a broader customer consultation.”

 

 

The composition of the Market Committee in 2017: Mikko Halonen (left), Johanna Haverinen, Raimo Peltola, Satu Viljainen, Harri Sirpoma, Asta Sihvonen-Punkka, Olli Hagqvist, Seppo Tuomisto, Janne Laine, Mikko Lepistö, Mika Laakkonen, Sami Oksanen, Heikki Rantamäki and Johannes Salo (Jouni Pylvänäisen, deputy). The new members this year are Riku Merikoski, Jan Segerstam, Matti Sohlman and Sebastian Sundberg. Laakkonen, Laine, Peltola and Oksanen left the committee.

 

 

The Market Committee is a vantage point

In 2017, SSAB’s Energy Manager Mikko Lepistö became the first customer representative to be elected chair of the Market Committee. He has good experiences of committee work.
“The greatest benefit of participating in Fingrid’s committee work is the chance to hear what’s happening to the main grid and

European electricity production and discuss the impacts of these changes. Fingrid can present different ideas at the meetings and quickly obtain well-grounded opinions from its customers,” explains Lepistö.

SSAB is a large customer because it uses about 1% of all the electricity consumed in Finland. As a result, it is naturally interested in market development.
“Market Committee work is a good way to keep up with what’s going on, because the pace of change is fast. When we know this, we are better able to present our perspective on decision-making.”

Lepistö emphasises democracy in his role as chair.
“Every member definitely knows how to make their mark during the discussion and the chair doesn’t need to activate anyone. The discussion is very animated, so staying on schedule is the biggest challenge.”
The interests of different customer groups sometimes conflict, and the discussions often strive to find compromises and balanced solutions.

“The members of the Market Committee are sensible people who don’t argue in meetings. The fact that nothing is decided in the meetings also helps defuse any conflicts. The issues are supposed to remain open, but each member can present the opinions of their own interest group,” states Lepistö.

Customer committees correspond to Fingrid’s business areas

Advisory Committee

Fingrid’s Advisory Committee is an advisory body and a two-way information channel between the company and its customers. Its task is to provide customer perspectives on the company’s operating environment and its business and services.

Grid Committee

The Grid Committee serves as a grid development-related cooperative body. The agenda often includes topical issues on, for example, main grid planning, construction and measurement, as well as questions in principle concerning main grid connections.

Operations Committee

The Operations Committee’s task is to express views on matters relating to the operation of the power system and maintenance of system security. The topics concern issues such as the operation of the power system, maintenance of the power balance, procurement of reserves, outage planning and dealing with disturbances.

Market Committee

The Market Committee assists the company in the development of European electricity markets. Fingrid informs the Market Committee on the development of the electricity market and European cooperation and, in turn, receives feedback from the committee on development plans. •

 

An example of customer committee achievements:

Renewal of the main grid tariff

In 2014–2015, the Advisory Committee considered a complete renewal of the main grid tariff structure. Fingrid introduced the principles on which the tariff is based. Customers presented the factors that they considered important and fair. Fingrid made various proposals and listened to the comments. The decision was made by Fingrid but the customer’s views were taken into account during the decision-making process.

Fingrid Oyj
Läkkisepäntie 21
00620 Helsinki
Tel. 030 395 5267

Fingrid is Finland’s transmission system operator. We secure reliable electricity cost effectively for our customers and society, and shape the clean, market-oriented power system of the future.