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Elektrilevi will start using text messages to inform customers about breakdowns

06.07.2012
Today the network operator Elektrilevi launches a service that uses text messages to inform customers about breakdowns and when power supply is expected to be restored.

The new notification system will cover around 330,000 residential customers of Elektrilevi all over Estonia. At first Tallinn will not be among the regions where the service is provided; the city has a more complicated power network and a solution for it will be designed and developed in the next stage.

“Text message notifications are convenient in the context of our customers’ everyday life, and we find them especially helpful in stormy weather when our fault notification line is overloaded and people want to get information much faster than we have so far been able to provide it,” says Tarmo Mere, the Chairman of the Management Board at Elektrilevi.

He explains that around 80% of the information about power cuts is sent to Elektrilevi operators automatically by the remote monitoring system. However, around a third of the customers affected by breakdowns live in areas without automation, mainly low voltage network areas, which cannot be monitored through the information system. Elektrilevi can only receive information about breakdowns affecting these households when customers report it, and then a repair team is dispatched to locate the breakdown.

“If we can use the text message service to inform customers about the breakdowns we have discovered and reduce the number of people calling our fault notification line, it will be easier in a crisis for people to get through in order to report the power cuts which we do not know about,” explains Mere.

Elektrilevi’s fault notification line receives around 360,000 calls and voice messages per year. By launching the text message notification service, the company hopes to reduce the number of calls to the line by approximately 40 per cent.

“The project pays for itself as it is much cheaper to send a notification text message than to have a customer service operator process information about a breakdown and send it on,” adds Mere. Notification by text message costs nothing for customers.

Elektrilevi will use the text message solution to send a message to customers when a breakdown has been discovered, estimating when the power supply will be restored. Messages will be sent to residential customers who have signed a power and network services contract as natural persons and given a mobile phone number as contact information. Customers who would prefer not to receive text message notifications about breakdowns can inform us of this by emailing info@elektrilevi.ee or calling our customer service line 1545. You can also contact us in the same way to let us know that you would only like to receive notifications during the day and not around the clock.

Elektrilevi (formerly known as Eesti Energia Jaotusvõrk) is a network operator that supplies electricity to households and companies and maintains and repairs the power network. The company manages the maintenance of almost 61,000 kilometres of power lines and more than 22,000 substations. In 2011 Elektrilevi invested 73 million euros in the power network, and it is planning to invest another 97 million euros this year. The company invests all of its operating profit in improving the quality of the power network every year.

Additional information:
  • Before launching the service, Elektrilevi carried out a pilot project among customers in Rapla, Järva and Pärnu counties. A total of 30,000 customers participated in the test project and in their feedback, 95% said they would like to keep using the service.

  • At the first stage, the text message notification service will only be available for residential customers who have signed a power and network services contract as natural persons. A different solution is being developed for business customers, mainly because one customer can often have several places of consumption.

  • It can take us about 5–10 minutes to send the text message to customers after we have discovered a breakdown.

Contact: Tuuli Sokmann
Elektrilevi, Communications Manager
tuuli.sokmann@elektrilevi.ee
Tel.: 5122562