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Our progress

Welcome to our non-financial performance highlights for the 2016/17 reporting year. Sharing our performance and how we are progressing with you is an important part of understanding the impact we have on society and identifying what improvements we can make in the future.

Foreword from our Chief Executive

Welcome to our 2016/17 non-financial performance report 

National Grid’s purpose is to bring energy to life. It drives our desire to serve our customers and makes us proud about the work we do. Along with our values of doing the right thing and finding a better way, it helps shape our spirit, attitude and guides us in everything we do. 

One important way we do this is to support the economic growth and sustainability of the communities we serve and are part of. By doing so, we support wider society. In 2017/18 the additional value we created for communities through our community engagement and investment in education was just over £12.3 million.

Building strong communities

Through our partnerships with charities such as City Year, our community grant schemes in both the US and UK, our employees volunteering in schools and in their local communities and our focus on sustainability, we are helping to build strong communities.

I am very aware that many consumers are struggling with their energy bills and having to make hard choices about how they manage their household budgets. Following the sale of the majority interest in our UK Gas Distribution business, we have pledged £150 million of the proceeds to help UK consumers who are in fuel poverty by improving the insulation and energy efficiency of their homes. 

In the US we provide low-income assistance to customers. In upstate New York, for example, we have assisted more than 118,000 householders with programmes and experts dedicated to delivering solutions for those struggling to pay their bills. This support ranges from the 40 Customer Assistance EXPOs held in the past year to the work we do with veteran organisations. We also undertake one-to-one support work with customers. 

Supporting social mobility 

In partnership with charities and the education sector, we encourage young people regardless of their background or personal situation to pursue their education, achieve their full potential and successfully transition into work. This is fundamental to the long-term sustainability of our business and society as a whole.

Being an engineering company we believe passionately that young people should receive the best education opportunities possible, especially when it comes to the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths). Through our employees volunteering and working with specialist education organisations, we have helped to support over 29,500 quality interactions with young people on STEM of greater than one hour during 2016/17. For example through our ongoing partnership with Girls Inc., almost 1,000 girls had the opportunity last year to participate in high quality STEM programming across five of our US sites.

Environmental sustainability

This year we have launched our updated environmental sustainability strategy, Our Contribution. It focuses on the areas where we can make the greatest contribution to a more sustainable future and sets out clear targets for us on greenhouse gas reductions, responsible use of resources and caring for the natural environment. 

We support climate change science and are working to address this global challenge. In the US we support the Clean Power Plan. We now own 21 MW of solar generation and plan to add 14 MW more. With our Sunrun partnership we are piloting residential solar in Staten Island targeting in the region of 100,000 house owners.

In the UK we are trialling a low-carbon alternative to SF6, an electrical insulator that has a global impact 23,900 times that of CO2. Known as Green Gas for Grid, it delivers the same technical benefit of SF6 but at less than 2% of the global warming impact. 

These are just a few highlights from 2016/17 demonstrating how we are working hard to exceed the expectations of our communities by delivering economic growth and environmental sustainability to help them to thrive. I invite you to explore our online report further to find out more about our non-financial performance. 

John Pettigrew
Chief Executive