You are responsible to get your own electricity contract in Finland. How to do that? Or maybe you are living in Finland and noticed your electricity bills are high. How find a cheaper deal? Today, I will teach you step-by-step how to get the best electricity contract in Finland in 10 minutes.
The components of the electricity bill
Before we get started, we need to understand the components of the electricity bill. First, we have the price of electrical energy (sähköenergia in Finnish). It is simply the price you pay for the electricity you consume. The unit is kilowatt-hours (kWh, kilowattitunti in Finnish)
The second component is the electricity transfer price (sähkönsiirto in Finnish). It includes the delivery of electricity to your home and the maintenance of the electricity network. In other words, there’s a separate company that will transfer the electricity to your home. The good thing to know is that you cannot do anything to affect the transmission price. It is automatically determined based on your location. For example, in Espoo, a company called Caruna is responsible for the transmission.
The third component is the damn taxes (sähkövero), and it’s a no-can-do as well. To conclude, you can only affect the price of the electrical energy component, and that’s what we will do soon.
The types of contracts
It’s imperative to understand different types of contracts. Let’s start with the fixed-term contract (kiinteä or määräaikainen in Finnish) This is very straightforward. You pay a fixed price for a specific time—usually a year, two years, or three years. The pro here is that it’s predictable. There won’t be any surprises because you know exactly how much you pay. There are also a few cons. First of all, you can pay a higher price if the market prices go lower than your fixed price. In addition, you cannot terminate the deal or switch vendors during the contract period unless you move to a new place.
Secondly, we have a variable (muuttuva in Finnish). You will know how much you pay in advance with this type of contract, but the price can change from month to month. The vendor has to let you know 30 days in advance if there will be any changes. This type of plan has a few pros. First of all, there’s a two-week termination period, allowing you to switch plans or vendors at any time. The con is that the prices can increase, but they can also decrease.
The third contract type is spot price (pörssisähkö in Finnish). The price comes from the Nord Pool power exchange. It’s like a stock exchange but for power, and the prices will change every hour, according to supply and demand. You can use sahko.tk to find out the current spot prices and the historical data. One of the pros here is that this type of contract has been the cheapest long-term. Again, there are no commitments as there is a 14-day termination period, and you can change plans if you want. The obvious con is that you will have to pay more if the prices spike up. For example, in December 2021, the spot price rose to 124 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s crazy.
On top of that, any contract can include a fixed monthly cost (perusmaksu), which can be between 0-3€/month.
So what is the best type of contract? It depends on what you prefer. If you like predictability, then probably a fixed contract is reasonable. If you want to save a little more money, but spend more time finding out the best deal, then maybe a variable is better.
Using comparison websites to find the best deal
Next, I will show you a tutorial for a comparison website called *Zmarta. I have used it myself, and I think it’s the most straightforward and easiest to use. Unfortunately, it only works in Finnish, like most of the comparison sites, but Google Translate will help. I will show you how it works, and you can easily follow along and get your deal.
If you’re already living in Finland and have a contract, find your latest electricity bill and see your plan and how you’re paying. Then you can see if you can find a better plan.
Zmarta has discontinued its comparison feature. Instead, I think you should check Nordic Green Energy. They offer pörssisähkö (spot-price) deals at a reasonable price. Their site is in Finnish but is an easy one-pager with Google Translate. Currently, the spot price (pörssisähkö) is the best plan as the actual prices have honed quite a bit. I have a pörssisähkö deal as well.
Note: The examples I will show may be entirely different when you make the comparison. The vendors, prices, and deals keep changing all the time. You can use the knowledge you learn to understand different deals.
Filling your information
Let’s start by entering your area’s zip code/postcode (postinumero in Finnish). We also get a reminder that we cannot get a new contract if you have a fixed-term contract. Make sure to check that before proceeding.
Then, give an estimate of your annual consumption. You can get this from your electricity bill. If you don’t know/have it, you can use the counter. Choose the type of apartment. I select a block of flats. Then we need to input the number of people living in the apartment. I choose two, and it will give you the annual consumption. They ask this to estimate how much the potential contract will cost so don’t worry if it’s not exactly correct.
Then we have the contract types. I will go through examples of all of these. Let’s start with the fixed price and click “Jack.” That’s a funny mistranslation from Google translate.
Fixed-term (kiinteä/määräaikainen) deals
Next, we will get deals. Zmarta organizes the options conveniently from cheapest to most expensive. The first deal is from KSS Energia. Click “read more” to get the details.
As we can see, it’s a fixed price for 24 months and the price of the electricity is 13.60 cents/kWh. There is a fixed cost of 2.95€/month. We can also see how the electricity is produced (wind power 100%). Sometimes you can also read more details from “Product details” here.
Note that the displayed prices do not include the transmission (sähkönsiirto) costs. My girlfriend and I pay around 15 euros/month for our 80 square meter place for transmission.
Variable price (muuttuva) deals
Let’s check out the fluctuating contracts by changing the parameter from the dropdown menu.
The first deal is from Vattenfall. It is a particular type of deal because there is no price for consumption. Instead, there is a lump sum of 25 euros/month. What does that mean? At product details, we can see if the monthly consumption exceeds 208 kilowatts, the excess consumption will cost 15 cents/kWh. That’s something to keep in mind. It is known as Packet Contract (pakettisähkö), and you will get a specific monthly quote. I have not used this type of contract myself.
Packet Contract from Vattenfall
Below we have another deal KSS Energia. It’s around the same price as the fixed one. Compared to the fixed-term deal from KSS Energiathis sounds better because the price is around the same without the two-year lockup.
Spot price (pörssisähkö) deals
Lastly, let’s check out the pörssisähkö deals. First, we have a deal from Lumo Energia. The spot price deals always include a margin (because the vendor needs to make money). Interestingly, this deal has no basic fee at all. That’s good! Note that the spot price here is 8,10 cents/kWh. Remember that the spot price keeps changing hourly. Use sahko.tk to check the up-to-date prices. When I’m writing this, the average price for seven days has been around 8 cents/kWh, and for 28 days around 11 cents/kWh.
Spot price deal from Lumo Energia
Let’s look at another spot price deal from Vattenfall. This one has a much lower margin than Lumo (0,29 vs. 1,25). However, this one has a 2,95€/month fixed cost. The total price is roughly the same, Lumo being a bit cheaper.
Purchasing a contract
How can you buy a contract you like? You can click “Jack” to proceed to fill in your information, your email, your phone number, the address where the electricity is needed (basically your address), your postal code, the billing address (if different from your address), and invoice method. It’s always better to get email invoices than paper.
Commencement of Agreement (sopimuksen alkamispäivä) means the day when the contract starts. If you are moving to a new place, click yes and the date of your move. If you are not moving and just getting a new contract to your current apartment, click no. In this case, the start date of the new agreement has to be two weeks away because of two week notice period.
Then you can confirm the deal with your online banking credentials. If you don’t have them yet, you can also confirm using your Personal Identity Code (henkilötunnus). If everything goes well, you should get order confirmation in your email and that’s it! You will most likely get another order confirmation from the transmission company. So don’t worry if that happens. If you have a current deal, the new vendor will cancel the old deal for you. Good stuff!
If you are moving to a new apartment, the vendor will send instructions on activating the electricity on the start day. It depends on the vendor, but in my experience, they will send you an SMS to which you need to reply. You also have to check the fusebox (sulakerasia) to ensure that all the fuses + the main switch are turned on. The fusebox is usually somewhere around the entrance.
The only downside of Zmarta is that they sometimes have limited vendors/plans available. There are many other sites you can check out. Another comparison website is Sähkomittari*, which is also in Finnish but does its job with Google Translate. It’s not as smooth as Zmarta* but you can find additional deals there.
Instead of using comparison sites, you can go directly to vendors’ websites. For example, Lumo Energia* is decent. I’ve been their customer before, and they offer English service. You can get a contract quickly by following the instructions. You can also check Helen and Fortum. Both of them are big players and offer English services.
Be aware of the signup bonuses
Below is a spot price deal from Pohjois-Karjalan Sähkö I found on sähkömittari*. They offer the basic fee of 0€ for the first six months for sign-ups. These bonus perks are used to attract new customers. However, check what happens after the “bonus period” is over. For instance, there could be a lower consumption price for three months, increasing after that. The vendors must disclose it on the offer page, and they can’t hide them in terms and conditions. Make sure to check that out.
However, you can take advantage of the bonuses during the period and switch to another deal once it’s over. It is entirely allowed if you don’t have a fixed-term contract.
Getting an electricity contract in Finland is quite easy when you understand the basics. I advise you not to overthink. If you’re moving to Finland, get something to start, and you can look for a better deal later. If you already have a contract, compare the numbers on your bill to the available deals. Using the sites I mention will get you a decent deal.
If you get a place that has electricity heating (detached houses and some terraced houses), it will be more critical because you will spend a lot of electricity to heat the place. But if you live in a block of flats, which is likely for your first apartment, the electricity bill will be 20 to 50 euros a month, including everything.
If you are moving to Finland soon and want to learn more useful things to get the best possible start with your new life, watch my free Move to Finland masterclass.