Power drive in Sweden

September 22, 1999, 10:00 CEST

A campaign to recruit new electricity customers in Sweden's household market is being launched by Statoil.

"Our immediate aim is to be the first choice as power supplier for domestic consumers," explains Helena Fornstedt, marketing manager for electricity in Retailing & Nordic Energy.

A Gallup poll partly financed by Statoil found that almost 60 per cent of Swedish households were prepared to change power supplier if this would save them SEK 500.

And an analysis by market survey specialist Sifo shows that the average price of electricity to domestic buyers in Sweden - excluding energy and value-added taxes - is SEK 0.224 per kilowatt-hour.

During its sales drive, Statoil is offering electricity at roughly SEK 0.06 per kilowatt-hour below this average.

"A price differential of SEK 0.06 would produce an annual saving of SEK 1,200 for a detached home with electric heating," says Ms Fornstedt. "But many will undoubtedly save substantially more."

Eight thousand Swedish customers have already contracted via the internet or Statoil's call centres to buy electricity from the group, but the aim is to boost this number above 400,000 within a few years.

In Norway, Statoil has already become the first choice for consumers who want to change power supplier.

A campaign in the early summer secured 30,000 new accounts and made the group one of the country's biggest power suppliers with roughly 80,000 customers - which corresponds to about four per cent of the household market.

Statoil also considers the Danish market to be interesting because of the opportunities it offers for joint marketing of electricity and natural gas. Denmark has decided to pursue a gradual liberalisation of its electricity sector, which is due to be opened to full competition on 1 January 2002.