Electricity ABCs

Relax: you won’t be tested over this. Whose law states that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the potential difference across the two points?

Graduates of Electricity ABCs, a basic course on electricity, know the answer. And an increasing number of those graduates work at Ensto.

Better customer service

The course is six full days spaced over roughly 12 weeks, and it’s designed for those who work in the industry but don’t have technical backgrounds.

Like Jenni Tiili, Team Leader in Ensto’s Domestic Customer Service. “I’m taking the course because I want to be able to answer some questions myself, without having to immediately send customers to technical support.”

“I want to get to know the basics of overhead lines and networks. If I get a customer inquiry it’s important to know what kilovolt lines we have,” adds Sales Manager Tarja Martinmäki.

Sirpa Lund, Technical Writer, also finds direct application. “I write product manuals for customer use – EV charging, heating system controls – and I want to make more professional instructions. I’m here to both update old knowledge and acquire new.”

And theory too!

The course was created by Team Leader Kai Hämäläinen and teacher Markku Mäkinen from the Finnish adult education company Amiedu. Mäkinen holds degrees in both electrical engineering and adult education. “I offer both disciplines in one package,” he jokes.

A sense of humor helps when the subject is not so simple. “Students’ biggest fear is electrical theory,” says Mäkinen. “Ohm’s law and Kirchoff’s law are difficult, but we can handle it.”

Bringing the mountain to Muhammad

The course was originally taught in Helsinki, Finland, and someone with Ensto’s HCM department took the course and was pleased. “So we decided to bring the course to Ensto,” says Nanna Sundman, who worked in HCM at the time, and is now Group Customer Service Manager.

Thanks to HCM, no one needs to go to Helsinki: employees need only walk across the parking lot. Since the first group taught at Ensto in autumn 2014, about 14 employees have taken the course.


If you’d like to dazzle your friends at parties (or test the engineer in the cubicle next to you), the answer to the question posed in the first paragraph of this story is Ohm’s Law.

But the information is useful for more than that, says Lilli Nieminen in Customer Service. “It’s actually useful in daily life. If you build a house, it’s helpful to know these things.”

Author: Scott Diel