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Electricity market

  • Who sells electricity, who bills for electricity?
  • What happens if I do not choose an electricity seller?
  • How electricity reaches homes

In the open market there is still only one network operator in each service area, because building parallel electricity networks would not make any sense for a society. From 2013 all network operators have to measure electricity consumption by the hour and send the data to Elering's central data warehouse.

The consumer's network operator will remain the same in the open market

In the closed market, consumers had one electricity and network services contract, which let them buy both electricity as a product and the network services used to transport that product. From 2013 consumer have two separate service providers, the network operator for the area, who will be the same in the open market as before, and the electricity seller chosen by the consumer or providing the universal service. Only the network services section of the earlier electricity and network services contract still applies, and it is now called the network services contract. Each consumer can choose which electricity seller to sign an electricity contract with. If a residential customer does not sign an electricity contract, then they will use the universal service to buy electricity.

The network service provider or the network operator is a natural monopoly just like it is in other parts of the world, because it would not make any economic sense to build several competing power networks in one area. On the open market the activities of network operators and the price of the network service will still be regulated by the government. Different regulations apply for the network and competitive businesses and under the Electricity Market Act, network operators with more than 100,000 customers must separate themselves from the electricity sales business in their group by having a different name and trademark. This is why Eesti Energia Jaotusvõrk became Elektrilevi in 2012.

What it the role of a network operator in the open market?

The role of the 35 network operators in Estonia remains the same in the open market, and it is to look after the infrastructure for transmitting electricity and to bring electricity to places of consumption. The network operators also have to collect electricity readings or measure the electricity consumed, maintain electricity meters, repair breakdowns and do other similar work. In the open market the procedures for measuring and passing on electricity consumption data or electricity readings have changed, and network operators now measure consumption by the hour instead of by the month and send the data to Elering's data warehouse every month. The replacement of monthly consumption data by hourly consumption data means that the amount of data that network operators receive is 700 times bigger. This means that with Elektrilevi's 640,000 meters, 460 million units of data have to be sent to the right place at the right time. After network operators have sent the data to Elering's data warehouse, electricity sellers can use these data for issuing electricity bills.

What happens if a customer does not choose an electricity seller?

If a customer does not sign a contract with an electricity seller, then they will still get electricity. Residential customers who do not sign an electricity contract will buy electricity using the universal service. The network operator has to ensure the electricity supply with the universal service either by selling electricity directly or appointing a seller to do so. If a network operator has more than 100,000 customers, like Elektrilevi does, then the network operator cannot sell electricity themselves but must appoint a seller. Elektrilevi has appointed Eesti Energia as its electricity seller, so Eesti Energia sells electricity using the universal service to those customers in the Elektrilevi network area who do not choose a seller.

The Electricity Market Act regulates the terms and conditions of how the universal service price is set and the Competition Authority assesses whether the price is justified. Customers can switch from the universal service to an electricity seller whenever they want, or leave their electricity seller and choose the universal service.

Under the Electricity Market Act, business customers whose place of consumption is connected to the medium voltage network or to the low voltage network above 63 A must sign an electricity contract with an electricity seller to consume electricity. This is called the open supply contract in the Act. If they do not sign an electricity contract or their contract ends, then the network operator or the electricity seller appointed by the network operator will sell them electricity at the price of balancing energy. Eesti Energia will sell electricity to Elektrilevi business customers who do not choose a seller.

  • Standard consumption schedules

    Electricity trading in the electricity market is hour-based. If you do not have an hour-based remotely read meter installed in your place of consumption, then your hourly consumption of electricity is calculated from a standard consumption schedule.

  • Customers and Open Suppliers

    For the electricity market to operate, it is necessary for network operators and electricity sellers to exchange information about market participants, and this takes place through the central information exchange platform. The information exchange platform is a digital environment where you can change your supplier, submit meter readings and where all market participants can comply with the requirements of the law and grant the necessary rights to each other.

  • Electricity sellers in Elektrilevi's network

    Here is a list of electricity sellers with customers in the Elektrilevi service area.

  • Joint bills

    From 1 January 2017, all electricity sellers can send their customers joint bills for electricity and network services.

  • The Estonian Electricity System

    The Estonian electricity system connects power plants, network operators and electricity consumers and covers the processes and management of the production, transmission, distribution and storage of electricity.