Power cuts may be caused by both network failures and weather conditions, such as storms and snow accumulating on overhead lines. As a consumer, you cannot expect the supply of electricity to always be completely flawless. However, in certain situations, it is possible to obtain compensation for power cuts either in the form of standard compensation, compensation for damages or a price reduction.
When is the electricity supply deemed defective?
The supply of electricity is deemed defective if
- the quality of electricity does not meet the standards applicable in Finland
- there are continuous or repeated interruptions in the supply and the interruptions cannot be regarded as minor in view of their causes and circumstances.
Standard compensation is paid for long power cuts
If the power cut lasts for at least 12 hours, you are entitled to standard compensation. The amount of the standard compensation depends on the duration of the power cut. The compensation also depends on your annual network service fee.
- 12–24 hours: 10 % of the annual network service fee
- 24–72 hours: 25 % of the annual network service fee
- 72–120 hours: 50 % of the annual network service fee
- 120–192 hours: 100 % of the annual network service fee
- 192–288 hours: 150 % of the annual network service fee
- More than 288 hours (12 days): 200 % of the annual network service fee
If you experience several power cuts during the year, you may receive up to 200 per cent of your annual network service fee in standard compensation during the calendar year, but no more than EUR 2,000.
The interruption time is calculated from the moment the network operator becomes aware or can be considered to have become aware of the power cut. The network operator may receive information of the power cut either automatically through their own network management information systems or via your notification.
If the power company cannot start repairing the power cut due to an exceptionally strong storm, your right to a standard compensation will not begin until the repair work can commence without jeopardising occupational safety.
The power company will usually pay the standard compensation automatically, meaning that you do not have to claim it separately.
Compensation for damages and price reduction
If you suffer damages as a result of a defect in the supply of electricity – such as damaged electrical equipment or food melting in the freezer – you can receive compensation for damages from your network company. You can claim compensation for damages even if you are entitled to standard compensation due to the same power cut.
In the event of a power cut that lasts under 12 hours or short-term, frequent interruptions in the electricity supply, you can demand a price reduction from your power company. At minimum, the amount of the price reduction shall be equivalent to a two-week payment share of your annual network service fee.
Your right to compensation for damages or price reduction depends on whether or not the situation has, when assessed on a case-by-case basis, in fact involved a defect in the electricity supply.
Submit a written claim for compensation for damages or a price reduction to your power company within a reasonable time after discovering the defect.
If you fail to agree on the form of compensation with your power company, you can contact the Consumer Advisory Services. If necessary, you can also take the matter to the Consumer Disputes Board.
You should also check if your home insurance covers damages caused by power cuts or other defects in electricity supply.