Energy transmission and distribution

Electricity and gas go through the transmission and distribution networks before being supplied to households. This section explores this process and analyses related trends.

Electricity transmission and distribution

Electricity transmission networks

Electricity transmission networks are high-voltage cables that run across the UK to bring power from generators to electricity distribution network while losing as little energy in the process.

There are four electricity transmission networks in the UK:

  • England and Wales electricity transmission is covered by the National Grid.
  • Southern Scotland electricity transmission is covered by SP Energy Networks’.
  • Northern Scotland electricity transmission is covered by Scottish and Southern Energy Power Networks.
  • Northern Ireland electricity transmission is covered by Northern Ireland electricity.

Electricity distribution networks

Electricity distribution networks deliver power from transmission networks to industrial, commercial and domestic customers.

There are eight electricity distribution networks in the UK:

  • In Northern England and Yorkshire, electricity distribution is covered by Northern Powergrid.
  • In Northwest England, electricity distribution is covered by Electricity North West.
  • In the Midlands and South Wales, electricity distribution is covered by Western Power Distribution.
  • In South East England, London and East Anglia, electricity distribution is covered by UK Power Networks.
  • In South West England and Southern England, as well as Northern Scotland, electricity distribution is covered by SSE Power Distribution.
  • In Southern Scotland, North Wales and Merseyside, electricity distribution is covered by SP Energy Networks.
  • In Northern Ireland, electricity distribution is covered by Northern Ireland Electricity.

Gas transmission and distribution

Gas transmission networks

A little like a motorway system, gas transmission networks are a set of high-pressure pipelines that allow for the quick transmission of natural gas from storage to distribution networks. There is only one gas transmission network in Great Britain, the National Grid.

Gas distribution networks

Like electricity distribution networks, gas distribution networks allow for natural gas to be sent along pipelines from the national transmission network to industrial, commercial and domestic customers.

There are seven gas distribution networks in Great Britain:

  • Southern Gas Networks is the gas distributor in Southern England.
  • Wales and West Utilities distributes gas throughout Wales and West England.
  • Northern Gas Networks is the gas distribution company for Northern England.
  • In the rest of England (London, Central England and Midlands), gas distribution is covered by the National Grid.
  • Scotland’s gas distribution falls under Scotland Gas Networks.
metadescription: 
How does gas and electricity get from storage and generators to your home? Information on transmission and distribution networks and companies.