Minister calls for checks on outgoing Eesti Energia managers' bonuses

Hando Sutter.
Hando Sutter. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Minister of Finance Annely Akkermann (Reform) called for state-owned energy company Eesti Energia's supervisory board to review performance bonuses for its outgoing managers. She said cooperation has been insufficient.

The minister sent a letter to the company which listed several other reasons besides a lack of cooperation. The management board is due to leave office at the end of the month.

These included underestimating the situation with providing cooling water to Narva power stations, she said. This would have essentially stopped electricity production at oil shale power plants.

Additionally, a reduction of Elektrilevi AS' capacity.

"Which resulted in an unacceptably slow response to a major blackout in Saaremaa in December 2022. The blackouts there lasted for a week - or more in some places - and caused major problems and damage to residents and businesses in the region," Akkermann said.

Confusion with invoices and bad communication were also cited.

"Examples include calculating electricity compensation in advance, sending an ultimatum with very short notice of a price increase, or sending a customer letter with incorrect language and misleading information," the minister wrote.

Prime minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) has also criticized the board's activities this year.

She said issues had been discussed within the coalition and that company head Hando Sutter should not continue in his role. Kallas also believes network operator Elektrilevi and Eesti Energia should be separated.

Eesti Energia made a profit of €128 million last year, treble its 2021 profits.

The company will pay almost €70 million in dividends to the state budget this year.


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Editor: Marko Tooming, Merili Nael, Helen Wright

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