Getting ready for new rules

Pioneers do not wait for new laws to be passed. Instead, industry leaders are getting ready, so they can quickly adapt to new rules of the game in the electricity market. At Enerim, we like to act as a springboard for energy companies.

There are two ways of reacting to the changes that are taking place in the energy industry. Either you sit and wait for all the question marks to be straightened out or you prepare to cope with unexpected changes. At Enerim, we work with energy companies in the latter group.

“Anyone who thinks it’s just a matter of changing IT systems has missed the point. The goal is to develop business operations and create smooth internal processes that can be quickly adapted to new rules of the game. The systems that we offer are the tools that the energy companies need to get there”, says Timo Karpola, who is Business Director at Enerim.

Sweden is still waiting for its datahub

The datahub has been and still is a hot topic of conversation in Sweden, and Timo believes that the uncertainties surrounding it are one reason why Swedish energy companies have waited to switch to modern platforms. When the datahub was introduced in Finland in 2022, the energy companies realized that it will be a vast change to adapt their legacy customer information and billing systems to support it, which meant that many chose to put the entire system out to competition. We will probably see the same happen in Sweden shortly.

“Enerim has experience with several Nordic countries’ datahubs and we have already adapted our solutions based on them. If and when Sweden gets a datahub, it will in its foundations be similar to the other Nordic datahubs. This means that our customers in Sweden will have a head start compared to competitors who only then start looking for a new system supplier”, says Timo Karpola.

A datahub is an electronic platform for the exchange of data, which simplifies the exchange of information between customers, electricity sellers and electricity network companies.

Timo Karpola, Business Director at Enerim.

With renewable electricity comes price volatility

The more weather-dependent electricity production we have, the better we must be prepared for rapid price fluctuations. European regulation is now developing at a rapid pace and for Swedish electricity retail and network companies it is important to be able to adapt quickly. Network companies are more bound by rules and laws in their operations, while electricity retail companies have more leeway to develop their own business models.

“The electricity retail companies have to deal with consumers’ constant concerns about the price of services. They need to develop competitive services for those who are tired of adjusting their electricity consumption according to prevailing spot prices. To succeed in this, modern systems are needed to test smart products and services, evaluate, and test again. Price volatility on the electricity market is something we must learn to live with,” says Timo Karpola.

For electricity retail, it is also about being able to quickly adapt to consumers’ situation, which can change suddenly. A recent example from Finland is the temporary electricity subsidy that the Finnish Parliament introduced in 2022 to cover increased electricity prices. Of course, these kinds of unexpected incidents directly affect electricity retail, and they must be able to tackle these kinds of challenges as well.

Cloud services amid global clouds of worry

The current unrest in the world creates new threats that make more and more people think about data security.

“Thanks to our private cloud solution, customer information and meter data are kept safe. We can ensure that the customer’s energy data stays in Europe, or even in Sweden,” says Timo Karpola.

The management of meter data is becoming increasingly challenging as the energy market moves to collecting meter data in near real time. 15-minute metering is already possible largely in Sweden, although there are still few who take advantage of that possibility.

“When we collect meter data in real time, it involves enormous amounts of data that must not only be managed, but also quality assured. This can be overwhelming for many. We have both SaaS platforms and BPO services to cover the customer needs,” says Timo Karpola.

New ideas are born in customer contact

In recent years, Enerim has guided 40 Finnish energy companies through the energy transition and helped them take the step from legacy systems to highly automated SaaS solutions (Software as a service). The business change process normally takes about a year, but the collaboration with Enerim doesn’t end there.

“We connect our vast customer base together by facilitating customer forums, listen to our customers’ ideas and develop our services according to their needs. This way individual customers do not have to bear the cost of a customized product. We offer productized solutions for the energy sector, which many of our customers need. It will be cost-effective solutions for our customers,” says Timo Karpola.

Chance to be one step ahead

Timo Karpola hopes that Swedish energy companies stop hesitating, decide to future-proof their processes, and involve Enerim in the process right from the start. It benefits both parties.

“Enerim has already developed well-functioning systems in Finland that are easy to integrate, also with the local market standards. We have recently certified our platform for the Swedish electricity and gas markets. Swedish energy companies now have the world’s chance to be one step ahead of their competitors, I really hope they take it,” says Timo Karpola.