Caruna agrees to spread out tariff hikes

Ari Koponen, the chief executive at Caruna, was pictured arriving for a hearing at the Finance Committee of the Parliament on 11 February, 2016.

Caruna has communicated that it has found an agreement with the Consumer Ombudsman to spread out its controversial increases in electricity distribution charges over a longer period of time.

The regional electricity distribution company will not implement its previously announced increases on 1 March but will lower its fixed electricity distribution charges by 25 per cent for the next 12 months, Päivi Hentunen, the Consumer Ombudsman, states in a press release.

“Caruna has also committed to not introducing new tariff increases in 2017,” she adds.

Caruna has expressed its satisfaction with the agreement. It estimates that the agreement will ensure the annual rise in electricity distribution costs will, on an average, be equivalent to no more than 15 per cent of the share of distribution costs in the final electricity bill of customers, depending on their electricity consumption.

“The increase will be roughly 23 euros a year for customers living in flats and consuming 2,000kWh, [and] roughly 140 euros a year for customers living in electricity-heated detached houses and consuming 18,000kWh,” the grid operator states.

YLE reported last month that the previously announced increases would have raised the monthly electricity costs of customers living in detached houses by an average of 30 euros.

Related posts:

- “Caruna is using its customers to cover its grid acquisition costs while siphoning profits out of Finland” (05 February, 2016)

- Consumers' Union calls for legislative changes to curb increases in electricity distribution charges (03 February, 2016)

- Increases in electricity distribution charges could be capped, says Rehn (02 February, 2016)

Caruna says its decision to spread out the increases is a response to feedback from consumers and decision-makers.

“We appreciate the concerns of customers and have listened to their feedback carefully. We have looked thoroughly into how we can carry out the statutory grid improvement measures accordingly. Together with the Consumer Ombudsman, we have also searched for a solution that is reasonable for our customers that meets the requirements laid out in the Electricity Market Act and the Consumer Protection Act.”

“This is the fairest solution for our customers. It will benefit them immediately and lower the tariff increases we announced earlier to a level approved by the Consumer Ombudsman,” Ari Koponen, the chief executive at Caruna, says in a press release.

Caruna said it will also introduce equivalent reductions in the electricity distribution charges of its corporate customers.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi