Affordable and efficient services

We are focused on ensuring efficient business operations, in which smart and digital are the norm. Efficiency means cost savings, but also shorter lead times, less inconvenience for local residents and increased customer satisfaction. Below, we give a number of examples that illustrate the benefits of our focus.


In 2018, we launched our five-year efficiency programme, which aims to realise permanent savings of €150 million on our total expenditure compared to 2017 levels. You can read more about this topic in the section on Financial results. The efficiency results are achieved through a variety of measures, and in particular through our four strategic initiatives.

Centralisation of support activities

In 2020, we set up the Business Support Services (BSS) department in a move that developed our financial shared service centre into a multifunctional shared service centre based in Delft. Administrative and support tasks for the organisation are intelligently combined in this new department, resulting in quality and efficiency improvements. In 2020, 74 staff members who perform support activities, consisting of financial administrative and support HR tasks, as well as management support, moved to the BSS. There is also a Data team, which focuses on managing and improving master and other data, and an Operational Excellence team, which brings together LEAN/Six Sigma and RPA (Robotics Process Automation) expertise, among other things. A total of 23 RPA bots, which take over repetitive tasks from employees, are now live, freeing up staff to spend more time on higher-end tasks. The BSS will eventually reduce costs by 25-30% for its share in the organisation.

Accelerated pipeline replacement: nine bottlenecks fixed

We are accelerating the replacement of our grey cast iron pipelines in our service area. In 2020, this involved 44 projects in Rotterdam. It was possible to easily plan and execute 35 of these in cooperation with Evides. In nine cases, however, significant challenges had to be overcome. The agreements we made in close cooperation with the municipality of Rotterdam on various control measures meant that we were able to fix these nine bottlenecks and carry out the work in one go together with Evides. The control measures in this case were a prohibition on digging and a prohibition on heavy vehicles.

This approach enabled us to reduce disruption to the surrounding area. Combining projects also saves Stedin as well as the municipality lots of money. The simultaneous work on these projects by Evides and Stedin enabled us to realise societal cost savings of €2 million to €2.5 million.

First-time divergence in Bergschenhoek 

Stedin has diverged from the standard connection method* for the first time for Wayland Energy in Bergschenhoek. The customer wanted a high-capacity connection for combined heat and power systems and a geothermal energy source. According to the standard connection method, we should connect the customer to the nearest station, which in this case is a medium-voltage station 2.1 kilometres away. However, this station has reached maximum capacity and would therefore need to be modified. This would have resulted in high costs for the customer as well as Stedin and a long lead time.

The solution was nearby, in the shape of a 23 kV ring installed just one metre out from the customer's building. This ring was laid for connecting customers up to a certain capacity, before the standard connection methods even existed. As there is sufficient capacity on this ring, we decided to connect the customer to it. This results in substantial savings for the customer as well as Stedin: the savings for the customer are €460,000, and Stedin's expenditure is €130,000 instead of €1.6 million.

* There is a legal standard connection method for customers, depending on the capacity of the connection. Grid managers have recently been allowed to diverge from this connection method, subject to strict conditions. This creates opportunities for us to provide a connection more quickly and at lower cost.

Affordable energy by facilitating the energy market

Facilitating the energy market is part of our societal role. Among other things, this means that our electricity and gas grids should be accessible under identical terms and conditions to all energy suppliers. The resulting competition guarantees very competitive energy prices, which benefits consumers and contributes to ensuring that the energy supply remains affordable.

Development of market facilitation

The energy transition is causing a rapid succession of changes in the area of market facilitation. The (data) infrastructure for market facilitation requires investments in the coming years, for example in the field of services. The market is demanding greater insight into and access to processes and data: in addition to volume, place and time of consumption (or generation) will increasingly determine the value and price of energy. This is giving rise to different demands and requirements.

Market data and energy balance  

The processes underlying market facilitation, such as transmission revenue and management of network losses, are becoming increasingly automated. Data analysis helps us to manage these processes.

‘As a result, network losses have decreased by approximately 7%, more than 50 GWh, over the past three years. ’

Cooperation in the sector  

Developments in the field of market facilitation are increasingly taking place at the sectoral level: the energy transition is leading us to adjust and expand our services (exchange of energy data). We work closely with the other grid managers within Netbeheer Nederland and with the other regulated market roles as part of NEDU (a Dutch energy sector platform). We are also in dialogue with new entrants to the energy sector.

Set of agreements on data sharing

The energy transition will require us to share more data with more market parties. In 2019, the grid managers reached consensus with all the stakeholders in the energy sector on a set of agreements for sharing energy data. The agreements were elaborated in 2020. The grid managers will be responsible for managing the set of agreements. Modifications to the set of agreements will be made via a market-facilitating forum in which all the stakeholders from the energy sector participate. The set of agreements is expected to become effective in mid-2021.

All grid managers join C-ARM

C-ARM is the platform that allows us to gather and combine the measurement data from all the regional grid managers in the Netherlands. From this central platform, we can make such measurement data available to market parties, including energy suppliers and parties responsible for metering. This results in enhanced customer satisfaction and convenience for the market parties due to the uniform and transparent way in which all the grid managers operate. In 2020, Stedin and the other regional grid managers successfully joined the C-ARM platform. This is an important step towards achieving our ambition: that market parties should experience us virtually at the national level as a single grid manager.