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Supply security with electricity: efficient infrastructure and access to basic supplies

As a network operator, EVN feels responsible for providing the customers in its supply areas with reliable access to energy. The company therefore follows an investment policy that is concentrated on protecting supply security through the construction and maintenance of reliable networks.

Efficiency of long-distance lines and distribution networks

Network losses

EVN’s focus in Lower Austria is on the expansion and stabilisation of the network infrastructure, while activities in Bulgaria and Macedonia are concentrated on the further reduction of network losses. Since market entry, network losses have been cut steadily from 20% in 2004/05 to a recent level of roughly 9% in Bulgaria and from 25% in 2005/06 to approximately 15% in Macedonia. In Austria, network losses remain stable at approximately 4%1).
1) A direct comparison of network losses is not possible due to the differences in the customer and network structures in EVN’s various supply areas.

Electricity disruptions1)

The mean supply interruption – which was calculated according to the System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) – equalled 0.71 for the 2015 calendar year (previous year: 0.83). A SAIFI value of 0.71 means that EVN’s customers experience less than one power failure per year. The average annualised duration of unplanned power interruptions, as calculated according to the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), equalled 25.70 minutes in the 2015 calendar year (previous year: 51.95 minutes), which is lower than the Austrian average of 27.18 minutes (previous year: 33.26 minutes). Information is not provided on SAIDI and SAIFI at EVN’s locations in South Eastern Europe because a clear data base is not available for the necessary calculations.
1) Source: Energie Control-Austria, breakdown and disruption statistics – results for 2014 and 2015.

  • GRI indicators: Efficiency of long-distance lines and distribution networks (EU12); Frequency and duration of power failures (EU28 and 29)

Availability of EVN’s power plants

Uninterrupted operations and the technical safety of EVN’s power plants represent key requirements for ensuring reliable electrical energy supplies. Regular inspection and maintenance procedures, which involve planned and coordinated downtime, are carried out to maintain this essential status. EVN’s gas-fired power plants in Korneuburg and Theiss achieved full availability in 2015/16, with the exception of scheduled inspections and marginal unplanned downtime (0.1% – 0.7%). The unplanned downtimes at the coal-fired power plants in Dürnrohr and Duisburg-Walsum equalled 0.2% and 10.7%, respectively. EVN’s windparks were in service 96.4% of the time during the reporting year, whereby these windpark statistics do not differentiate between scheduled and unscheduled downtime.

Electricity disconnections due to payment arrears

EVN offers individual support and instalment payment options for customers who are unable to pay their bills on time. The past years were, however, still characterised by inconsistent payment behaviour and the frequent inability to meet scheduled payments, especially in Bulgaria and Macedonia. In 2015/16 the collection rate nevertheless reached 99.6% in Bulgaria and 93.0% in Macedonia. In spite of its high commitment to social responsibility, EVN is forced to interrupt energy supplies when payment arrears extend over a longer period of time. The number of disconnections remained stable at a low level in Austria, but EVN was required to take this final step more frequently in Bulgaria and Macedonia – where, in contrast to Austria, meters are read and invoices are sent on a monthly basis.1) Supply interruptions are generally reversed within 24 hours in all of EVN’s supply areas after the required payments are made or an extension or instalment payment agreement is concluded.
1) The general statistics on electricity disconnections are based on the network supply area and not on individual suppliers because the network operators are technically responsible for disconnecting the service at the supplier’s request. This form of data collection distorts the statistics, which are therefore not presented.

EVN has introduced numerous measures in the past to help customers meet their payment obligations on time. For example, customers in Bulgaria can receive e-mail or text message reminders on the approaching end of the payment period to avoid disconnections due to unintentional late payments. If a customer still fails to pay within the designated period, he or she is reminded by e-mail, text message or via the customer portal on EVN Bulgaria’s website at least three days before service is disconnected. Recently EVN also placed a special focus on the reliable delivery of invoices and simple payment procedures.

  • GRI indicator: Electricity disconnections due to payment arrears (EU27)

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