March 29, 2017

Energy company, wake up – your last chance to prepare for electricity hubs

Joni Räsänen

Value Proposition Owner, Tieto

The Nordic energy market regulator mandates that by 2030, all the Nordic countries will be a part of a Nordic datahub. It is a network of national datahubs that will link all energy market actors – distributors, retailers and consumers – providing them integrated access to all metering data.

Deadlines are approaching fast

Norway will be the first to join the market in late 2017. The datahub will be operational in Finland by 2019 and in Sweden by 2020.

Don’t let those dates fool you, though. There is a lot of data clean-up and conversion to do to comply with the requirements of the hub system. Preparations should be well underway by now.

And it is not just your IT that needs attention. In addition to making plans about what the new setup means for your data systems, you should also be already thinking how it affects your business processes. What are the opportunities, what are the new responsibilities and threats.

There are a couple of warning examples of non-preparation. Denmark was the first to introduce the datahub way back in 2013, but the project went less than well because the market players were not sufficiently prepared. In Finland, datahub documentation was published a year ago, and the first conversions should be done within only a few months, but still only about half of the market players have familiarised themselves with the documentation and responded to surveys.

Success doesn’t come without preparation

If you want to participate in the development of the datahubs with your comments to the plans, now is the last moment to act.

Questions you should ask yourself include:

What do the new responsibilities mean to us? How can we exploit the new opportunities that will arise? How do we prepare and transition our IT for the new situation? What do we need to change in our business processes? How should we train our people? What kind of position do we want to achieve on the market? What kind of investment are we looking at? What should we focus on, and what should be left to the others?

The datahubs represent one of the biggest changes in the energy business in many decades. They will speed up service to the end-customers, and in the worst case make it easier than ever to change providers. On the other hand, if your systems and processes are tuned for the new market, you have an opportunity to grow your customer base. Active participation helps adjustment to the new market.

When the datahub accelerates the business processes between companies, the end-customer will get faster service.  Contract changes can be effected in real time.

If you haven’t started yet, all is not lost

Establish the projects and teams today, not tomorrow. Get external help. Hire someone to guide you through the transition who is capable of both IT and business consultation, and knows how to make both work together.

The best scenario to fill the gap is to find a partner who has a standardised, productised transition package with a clear roadmap, and enough manpower to pull it through.

Yes, you can still get on board and meet the deadlines. If you act now.

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