New CEO Juha-Pekka Weckström picks up the reins at the world-class energy company
In the energy sector, the transformation of environmental technology and the circular economy provide breakthroughs comparable to the internet at the same time as the role of consumers and data increases, says Juha-Pekka Weckström who took over the position of Helen’s CEO at the beginning of April. The central elements of the company’s strategy are carbon neutrality and strong customer focus. Maintaining a high level of security of supply and producing sufficient volumes of electricity and heat is particularly important under emergency conditions.
Helen had a record result in 2019. The number of the company’s customers has grown strongly: its services cover almost 1.7 million Finnish residents. The start to 2020 has been different: the exceptionally mild winter reduced the need for energy and, on the other hand, the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted everyone’s routines. In Helsinki, electricity consumption in March fell by as much as 15 per cent as a result of the pandemic. With previous experience in the telecommunications and media sector, Helen’s new CEO takes the company’s reins with enthusiasm and confidence to direct Helen through the transformation of the energy sector.
“In the same way as Helsinki is becoming the world’s most efficient city, we are building the world’s most efficient carbon-neutral energy system. My perception of Helen’s strong situation and its clear, forward-looking strategy has been confirmed. We have tremendous possibilities to build even cleaner energy solutions together with our employees, customers and partners,” says Juha-Pekka Weckström.
“Twenty years ago, the telecommunications sector was facing a huge transformation when it moved from landlines to mobile phones and from infrastructure to services. I believe that the revolution in environmental technology and the rapid spread of the circular economy provide the same kind of breakthrough for the energy sector as the internet and the subsequent services did for the telecommunications sector. The transformation of the energy sector is certainly a fantastic opportunity to create something new,” says Weckström, who was former CEO of Digita and TeliaSonera Finland.
The task of turning Helen’s production carbon-neutral in 2035 is on track: it is carried out in stages, in tandem with Helsinki and the entire country. At the same time, the company is investing strongly in tailored energy solutions, such as regional renewable energy, smart building solutions and electric traffic.
Weckström sees that the role of consumers and data in particular will increase. The energy sector still has a lot to learn in the utilisation of data, digital solutions and customer focus, because consumers are increasingly interested in the environmental impacts of their own energy choices.
“We want to offer each and every one of our customers a way of producing, using and saving energy with consideration for the environment. One person may want to reduce their carbon footprint, another to optimise the cost of heating, while a third one wishes to control the charging of their electric vehicle, and so forth. Data and digitalisation enable the use of new, personalised services for all of these needs.”
Maintaining a high security of supply is particularly important under emergency conditions
Helen is able to invest in new energy solutions thanks to its stable electricity, heat and cooling operations.
“In addition to the future energy solutions and customer focus, taking care of the security of energy supply is the foundation of our operations. In these current emergency conditions due to the coronavirus outbreak, it is increasingly important for Helen to safeguard the availability of electricity, heat and cooling in order to enable continuous functioning of society. We have advised our employees on minimising the risk of infection and ensured undisturbed energy production and distribution in many different ways,” Weckström specifies.