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Engineer looking up at a electricity pylon

The National Grid and what it does

By Laura Davies | Posted October 31, 2017

What is the National Grid?

The National Grid is the system operator of Great Britain’s electricity and gas supply. This includes England, Scotland and Wales. It is the company that manages the network and distribution of electricity and gas that powers all our homes and businesses.


How does the National Grid work?

The National Grid network is made of high-voltage power lines, gas pipelines, interconnectors and storage facilities that together enables the distribution of electricity. The grid ensures that all areas of Great Britain always have enough power.

Within the network, there are many electricity distribution companies called Distribution Network Operators (DNO) who send electricity from the grid to your home. The DNO who distributes your electricity depends on where you live in Great Britain. This page from the National Grid website shows you who is your DNO.

Ensuring this reliability on a nationwide scale now and in the future calls for considerable capital investment. In addition to the costs of replacing and renewing ageing assets to keep the National Grid up to date.

Ofgem ensures the most cost-effective deal for the customer by incentivising the National Grid to create savings and efficiencies.

The future of the National Grid

A revolution is taking place in the energy industry. Change is happening at an unprecedented rate, creating opportunities for the industry and challenges too, which will affect how the National Grid works.

To meet the challenges of a growing population, as well as the carbon reduction targets outlined by the Climate Change Act of 2008, smart solutions are needed. The National Grid is investing in more innovative, more diverse and more flexible technologies for power generation.

Watch this video for a taste of what the future holds.

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