You cannot expect the supply of electricity to be completely trouble-free because natural and other phenomena can always cause service interruptions. The consumer can claim compensation for a service interruption that is not minor, caused by a defect in the supply of electricity.
Under the Finnish Electricity Market Act, the supply of electricity is defective if there are continuous or repeated interruptions in the supply and the service interruptions cannot be considered minor when taking into account their causes and circumstances. When the significance of the interruption is assessed, consideration will be given to its cause and duration and its impacts on customers.
Price reduction and standard compensation
If there has been a defect in the supply of electricity, the consumer is entitled to a reduction in the price of electricity corresponding to at least two weeks’ payments of the annual network service fee.
If the service interruption lasts at least 12 hours, the consumer is automatically entitled to standard compensation. Longer the interruption, higher the standard compensation. The amount of compensation also depends on the consumer´s 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 %
- 192–288 hours: 150 %
- More than 288 (12 days) hours: 200 % of the annual network service fee
- Maximum compensation is EUR 1500. (Valid until 1.1.2018)
If there is several interruptions to the supply of electricity during one calendar year, the amount of compensation shall not exceed 200 percent of the annual network service fee or EUR 2000.
The interruption time is calculated from the moment the network operator becomes aware or can be considered to have become aware of the interruption. The network operator can be informed of the interruption either automatically by its own network management information systems, or by the consumer.
Due to an exceptionally strong storm, energy companies are exempted from liability to pay compensation for any delays in beginning the repair work because of their inability to begin the work as well as work safety considerations.
Compensation for damage
If consumers suffer damage as a result of a defect in the supply of electricity (damaged electrical equipment, food melting in the freezer, etc.), they can receive compensation.
The consumer can also demand price reduction and/or compensation for damage, if the service interruptions last less than 12 hours and are short but frequent. In such situations, the defectiveness of the electricity supply is assessed on a case-by-case basis. If the consumer is paid the standard compensation, the consumer is not entitled to a discount on the basis of the same power cut. Standard compensation does not affect their entitlement to damages.
The consumers must submit the written claim for a price reduction and/or compensation for damage to the electricity company responsible for the local electricity distribution network.
If the consumers cannot agree on the compensation with their electricity company, they can contact the consumer advisor. If necessary, they can take the matter to the Consumer Disputes Board.
The Consumer Disputes Board