Britain’s electricity transmission network transmits high-voltage electricity from where it is produced to where it is needed throughout the country.
The system is made up of high voltage electricity wires that extend across Britain and nearby offshore waters.
It is owned and maintained by regional transmission companies, while the system as a whole is operated by a single Electricity System Operator (ESO). This role is performed by National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO). NGESO is responsible for ensuring the stable and secure operation of the national electricity transmission system.
We have an important role in regulating the activities of these natural monopolies. We seek to protect consumers’ interests by regulating the companies through price control periods where we set the maximum amount of revenue that they can recover from users. These arrangements also seek to incentivise the companies to improve efficiency (keeping costs down for consumers), innovate technically and to act in line with the interests of consumers and other stakeholders.
Most users that take power from the transmission system are connected to the distribution networks across GB. These networks carry electricity from the transmission systems to industrial, commercial and domestic users.
There are currently three Transmission Operators (TOs) permitted to develop, operate and maintain a high voltage system within their own distinct onshore transmission areas. These are National Grid Electricity Transmission plc (NGET) for England and Wales, Scottish Power Transmission Limited for southern Scotland and Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc for northern Scotland and the Scottish islands groups.
Further detail on the offshore transmission system and offshore TOs can be found in our Offshore Transmission section.