The GB electricity distribution network

Electricity distribution networks carry electricity from the high voltage transmission grid to industrial, commercial and domestic users.

There are 14 licensed distribution network operators (DNOs) in Britain and each is responsible for a regional distribution services area. The 14 DNOs are owned by six different groups.

The DNO groups and individual DNOs are:

  • Electricity North West Limited
  • Northern Powergrid
    • Northern Powergrid (Northeast) Limited
    • Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire) plc
  • Scottish and Southern Energy
    • Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution plc
    • Southern Electric Power Distribution plc
  • ScottishPower Energy Networks
    • SP Distribution Ltd
    • SP Manweb plc
  • UK Power Networks
    • London Power Networks plc
    • South Eastern Power Networks plc
    • Eastern Power Networks plc
  • Western Power Distribution
    • Western Power Distribution (East Midlands) plc
    • Western Power Distribution (West Midlands) plc
    • Western Power Distribution (South West) plc
    • Western Power Distribution (South Wales) plc

View a map of the DNO's on the Energy Networks Association website.

In addition there are also a number of smaller networks owned and operated by Independent Network Operators (IDNOs). These are located within the areas covered by the DNOs

Since the DNOs are natural monopolies they are regulated by us to protect consumers from potential abuse of monopoly power.

In order to be able to distribute electricity through the network, DNOs and IDNOs must hold a licence. The licences contain conditions which, among other things, limit the amount of revenue which these companies can recover from their customers.

Further information on how the networks operate and where they are located can be found on the website of the Energy Networks Association.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 3rd Mar 2017
  • Closed: 31st Mar 2017
  • Consultations & responses
  • 8 Associated documents
Notice of our intention to approve the Rebased Network Asset Secondary Deliverables Targets submitted by the DNOs.

  • Published: 11th Nov 2016
  • Open letters & correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter aims to ensure the regulatory licensing process associated with the Shetland New Energy Solution competition is clear and transparent for all parties.

  • Published: 16th Jun 2015
  • Reports & plans
  • 2 Associated documents
This report presents our assessment of the energy efficiency potential of the gas and electricity infrastructure in Great Britain.

  • Published: 24th Jul 2014
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
We are publishing our minded to decision on changes to severe weather-related Guaranteed Standards of Performance (GSOP) following the December 2013 storms where we propose to double the exceptional event payment levels.

  • Published: 18th Jul 2014
  • Closed: 18th Aug 2014
  • Consultations & responses
  • 1 Associated documents
This is a publication of the statutory consultation notice under section 8A(3) of the Electricity Act 1989 for Harlaxton Energy Networks Limited.

  • Published: 31st Mar 2014
  • Closed: 30th May 2014
  • Consultations & responses
  • 9 Associated documents
We are consulting on possible changes to Guaranteed Standards of Performance arrangements for RIIO-ED1. Our thoughts so far are to double RIIO-ED1 levels from £35 to £70.

  • Published: 6th Mar 2014
  • Reports & plans
  • 1 Associated documents
During December GB was impacted by severe storms that caused interruptions to over two million customers. This report reviews the performance of the companies that operate the networks that deliver electricity to customers. It also sets out the next...

  • Published: 29th Oct 2013
  • Closed: 29th Nov 2013
  • Consultations & responses
  • 14 Associated documents
Consultation on draft terms of reference for independent experts to conduct an initial review of the reasonableness of network operators’ (NWOs) pension costs, to assist and inform our decision in determining whether these costs are reasonable and reset...