Power drive pays off

November 8, 1999, 08:00 CET

A Statoil campaign to sell electricity to Swedish households had overshot its target of 20,000 new customers by 12,000 at 1 November.

"We made our offer at the right time, with Swedes able to save thousands of kroner by switching to us as their power supplier," says Helena Fornstedt, electricity marketing manager in Retailing & Nordic Energy.

While Swedish households were paying an average of SEK 0.224 per kilowatt-hour for electricity in August, plus VAT and Swedish energy tax, Statoil has offered them a price about SEK 0.06 lower.

Ms Fornstedt emphasises that a strong brand combined with the ability to handle all new customers quickly and effectively has been essential for the success of the campaign.

In addition, strong Swedish media interest in Statoil helped to make the group the first choice of many customers seeking to switch supplier in the recently-liberalised electricity market.

Householders in Sweden have been able to change their power supplier free of charge since 1 November, following the abandonment of the previous metering system.

At the same time, the period of notice required when making a change-over has been reduced from six months to a maximum of one.

According to Ms Fornstedt, Statoil has played an active role in securing the removal of these restrictions on free competition.

Even before the group launched its latest campaign at the end of September, 8,000 customers had signed up for its electricity supplies via the internet and Statoil's call centres.

This gives the group 110,000 electricity customers in Norway and Sweden, 18 months after it first began to sell power in these countries.