Vattenfall publishes Annual Report including Sustainability Report for 2012
Substract on Investments in electricity network operations
Electricity distribution is a monopoly business that is regulated by network regulators in the respective countries. It is legally and functionally separated from Vattenfall’s operations that are open to competition. Vattenfall has 4.3 million network customers in Sweden and Germany. High-quality, uninterrupted electricity service is one of the chief requirements made by network customers. Vattenfall is continuing with its extensive investments in the electricity network that were begun in the mid-1990s to protect the grid from the effects of weather and thereby ensure highly reliable services for all of its electricity network customers. The increasing availability of renewable energy – especially wind power – along with customer needs for better and more intelligent information about their electricity use, is driving the development of smart grids. Vattenfall is conducting extensive development work in smart grids in parallel with extensive modernisation and expansion of the electricity grid in order to meet the emerging needs of customers and the authorities. Vattenfall Eldistribution AB – along with half of the other network companies in Sweden – had previously appealed a decision by the Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate on revenue frameworks for the Swedish operations for the period 2012–2015. During the year, this legal process continued in the administrative court. In October, the Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate issued its reply to the appeal, in which it conceded to changes that will result in more reasonable terms for financing the electricity network operations.
Introduction of hourly metering
In Sweden, effective 1 October 2012, all electricity customers with hourly based variable electricity prices have the opportunity to obtain hourly metering of their electricity service. A new law has resulted in extensive changes in the metering systems for Sweden’s network companies. During the year, Vattenfall Eldistribution AB made the necessary investments and installations of metering equipment to meet the new requirement on short notice.
Online monitoring of electricity consumption
In Sweden and Finland, Vattenfall offers EnergyWatch, a webbased tool that allows customers to check their electricity use
in real time. By identifying the different areas of electricity use in their homes, customers can control their consumption and energy costs. Statistics on measured electricity use can be saved and compiled in various comparisons. EnergyWatch works
via a data collection box that is hooked into the customer’s electricity meter. Customers can also download an EnergyWatch app and thereby gain access to information about their electricity use directly via their smartphones. In the Netherlands, Vattenfall markets a similar product, “E-manager”, where customers can obtain real-time information about their electricity and gas use via a website or directly in their mobile devices using an app. Customers can also control their energy use by turning appliances on or off remotely from their smart phones. E-manager also allows households to compare their electricity and gas use with similar households, or to set specific energy saving goals.
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