Every year Great Britain uses enough electricity to boil over two trillion kettles. We get through more than double that in gas. The network is the system that transports all this energy to heat and power our homes and businesses.
It’s made up of over a million kilometres of pipes and cables. Enough, in fact, that if you stretched it all out it could reach to the moon and back.
The networks consist of transmission networks, which take energy from the gas fields or power plants where it is generated and carry it on big pipes or cables nationwide, and distribution networks. These are the smaller pipes or wires that take the energy locally to homes and businesses. The System Operator is responsible for ensuring supply and demand for electricity on the transmission network stay in balance.
See how the network fits together
The networks were state-owned, but became privately-owned in 1986 for gas and 1990 for electricity. They are funded by your energy bills.
Only one company usually runs the pipes and wires in an area, which makes them a regional monopoly – you can’t choose your local network. There are different owners in different parts of Great Britain. The exception is gas transmission, which is owned and operated by National Grid Gas.
See a map of who runs the transmission network