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In this section you will find answers to frequently asked questions. A comprehensive help section on changing electricity providers as well as our products and services as an electricity provider can be found at @verbund_hilft.
In Austria, we are active in the areas of electricity production, trade and distribution. We operate the Austrian power grid via our independent subsidiary, APG. In Europe, we are active in power trading in around 20 countries, as well as also being involved in production and distribution via joint ventures in Italy and Turkey.
No, these companies are majority-owned by the respective provinces. Wiener Stadtwerke, EVN and TIWAG do, however, participate in VERBUND as shareholders.
VERBUND has plant locations in all provinces with the exception of Vorarlberg.
Around two-thirds of the total volume of electricity generated in Austria results from the utilisation of the renewable energy source hydropower. Austria is therefore the No. 2 in Europe after Norway.
At present, only 5% of the power plants in Europe are certified. "In our capacity as European pioneer, all of our 124 hydropower plants – with which we generate more than four fifths of our electricity – have already had their certification for many years. We are generating electricity with a ‘pedigree’, as it were," stressed Anzengruber. In the coming months, VERBUND will also get its wind and thermal power plants certified.
VERBUND is able to transparently prove to all of its private customers that they have opted for 100 % hydropower electricity:
VERBUND supplies 100 % certified electricity from hydropower to its private and trade customers. This means: VERBUND guarantees its household and trade customers that precisely that amount of electricity consumed by them is also truly produced in TÜV-SÜD certified hydropower plants and fed into the public grid on their behalf.
Based on different estimates, the share of nuclear power in Austria lies between 5 and 15%. Imported electricity normally comes in the form of a mix that also contains nuclear power. 100% of the electricity VERBUND supplies to its private household customers is generated from hydropower – the share of nuclear power is zero.
No. That part of the water that is pumped into the reservoir is not included in the generation from natural inflow through streams and rainfall. This is simply possible because we know how much water we have pumped. Electricity generated via pumped water is referred to as electricity of unknown origin, in other words “grey electricity”.
This is the case even if we know that the majority of electricity generated from pumping originates from renewable sources, particularly wind farms. Electricity generation from wind farms is especially productive in periods of low electricity consumption (e.g. during the night). However, it is not correct to state that this is how electricity is transformed into clean hydroelectricity.
Incidentally, adherence to this regulation is checked annually – and very precisely - by the technical inspection agency, TÜV-Süd.
Yes, the VERBUND power plants can be visited at selected locations. Visitors' Centres have been set up in Freudenau (Vienna) as well as at the locations of our storage power plants in the Malta Valley and Kaprun. Tours can be booked at other locations.
VERBUND takes a positive view of the technological advances in the area of electricity metering. The mechanical electricity meters currently being used (Ferraris meters), which have to be manually read in Austrian households once a year, could, in future, be replaced with intelligent meters.
The so-called "smart meter" records electricity consumption in digital format. The new meters have a wide range of useful additional functions. Customers stand to benefit from the multi-tariff function, interfaces for external devices and lots more. In future, prompt information on individual electricity consumption will be available for the first time. New, consumption-based tariff models can be offered thus leading to savings. The process of changing suppliers should also be easier and faster in future due to the improved availability of customer data.
Our mission is to provide forward-looking energy solutions for responsible people. We therefore focus strongly on innovation, research and development. By developing new electricity applications, we aim to increase the share of electricity – above all, from renewable sources – in the total energy mix.
Our priorities, apart from the development of new electricity generation methods – e.g. for sensitive waters – include the efficiency themes electric mobility and energy management. We actively participate in the electricity revolution in transport and support the introduction of electric vehicles.
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© VERBUND AG, 2013