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VaasaEmg Energy Reports

PriceWatch – Electricity Price follow-up research

PriceWatch is without doubt the most “famous” project of VaasaEMG, at least in Finland. This is due to the fact that the media has been extremely interested in electricity prices ever since the deregulation started. With the means of PriceWatch VaasaEMG has collected, stored and analysed all Finnish electricity suppliers’ offer price data since 2000 by using the mystery shopping method. 

The hired research assistants pose as real customers and call through all Finnish electricity suppliers and ask for electricity offers, according to the detailed instructions they have been given in advance. Every month several assistants are used to do this work, and the same assistant is not used several times within a year. This reduces the electricity suppliers’ possibility to recognize the mystery shoppers. The data is collected on a monthly basis and, therefore, it is very exact and extensive by nature. VaasaEMG is the only organization that has this kind of database of Finnish electricity prices. In PriceWatch the electricity price information is gathered for 2,000 kWh, 5,000 kWh, 10,000 kWh and 18,000 kWh (day/night- and seasonal electricity) annual consumption levels. Additionally, every three months the PriceWatch Green is separately conducted. In PriceWatch Green the green electricity prices are collected for 2,000 kWh, 5,000 kWh and 18,000 kWh annual consumption levels regarding Norppa- and wind power.

PriceWatch project is funded by various companies and organizations operating at the energy industry. The research is totally independent and the prices of all those suppliers that sell electricity nationwide are included. Those suppliers that fund the research are not able to influence in the results of it but those suppliers will get detailed information of the whole country’s price information, and they can buy links and advertising space from VaasaEMG’s web site. The electricity suppliers, therefore, benefit from the research data produced by Price Watch by getting real time information of their competitors’ pricing regularly, and on the other hand, by means of advertisements and links with which the suppliers can tempt consumers to visit their web sites. Only a part of the price database is published at our site a few weeks after the comprehensive price database has been sent to the organizations funding the research. However, the consumers also find fresh price information at VaasaEMG site at least when it comes to the cheapest electricity suppliers.

The project is conducted for one year at a time. The current status of the project is that it will continue at least to the end of December 2010. 

VaasaEMG members involved in this project: Teemu Närvä and several research assistants.