Promoting security of supply

Our remit is to support the interests of energy consumers. The legal framework in which we operate makes clear that the interests of consumers include the future security and sustainability of energy.

Consumers expect electricity to be available on demand at all times. While historically there has been a high level of spare electricity capacity, our latest analysis shows this amount has fallen rapidly and is expected to continue to fall over the next few years. This is mainly because many older coal and oil-fired power stations are being closed due to age and inefficiency, and the Large Combustion Plant Directive within the European Environmental Regulations.  

We've approved new tools to help National Grid manage these lower margins from this winter. With these in place the risk of supply disruption this winter is below the maximum level of risk as defined by the  government’s reliability standard for power supplies. It compares compares favourably with many countries around the world.

Energy efficiency and demand management measures will also potentially help the security of supply by lowering demand.

In addition, many facets of our work help to ensure security of supply. For example, we incentivise network companies to keep interruptions to a minimum. Generation and supply companies are incentivised to make sure that the energy put on to the system balances with the energy their customers consume.

Ongoing security needs ongoing investment. We recognise that investors need confidence that investments they make now will be appropriately remunerated over the life of the assets. Our work next year on security of supply will cover a range of measures including major reviews (Significant Code Reviews) for both Gas and Electricity and the RIIO network price controls.

Promoting cross-border trade in energy may also help to promote further security of supply. The European Third Energy Package created legally binding pan-European network codes, designed to remove barriers to cross-border trade, integrate national markets and ensure security of supply and secure system operation with high levels of renewable generation. Collectively these network codes will form the basis of the target model for Europe’s gas and electricity markets.

For more information see:

Gas security of  supply

Electricity security of supply

Publications and updates

  • Published: 10th Jun 2014
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 0 Associated documents
National Grid has the right levers to help keep the lights on for householders. This is the statement our CEO is today putting forward as we talk about security of supply at the Economist UK Energy 2014 summit.

  • Published: 12th Jul 2012
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Sustainable Development Focus is Ofgem’s annual round up of our contribution to sustainable development. This sits alongside our set of themed indicator publications, which together form our sustainable development reporting package.

  • Published: 4th Nov 2011
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Sustainable Development Focus is Ofgem's annual round up of our contribution to sustainable development. This sits alongside our set of themed indicator publications, which together form our sustainable development reporting package.

  • Published: 15th Nov 2010
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Sustainable Development Focus is Ofgem’s new annual round-up of our contribution to sustainable development. Alongside our set of themed indicator publications, this package replaces our previous Sustainable Development Report.

  • Published: 20th Nov 2009
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
This annual report assesses our contribution to the achievement of sustainable development, providing updates on our activities and intentions for the coming year, as well as reflections on wider events.

  • Published: 17th Dec 2008
  • Closed: 1st Feb 2009
  • Consultations and responses
  • 1 Associated documents
This annual Sustainable Development Report assesses the progress made towards developing more sustainable gas and electricity markets, provides an update of our activities and intentions over the next year as well as reflects on wider developments.