Western Power Distribution, Britain’s biggest regional electricity network, is now part of the National Grid group – and it's become National Grid Electricity Distribution. So what’s the difference between our electricity transmission and distribution operations?
Since the creation of National Grid in 1990, our company has been in the business of transmitting electricity safely and efficiently over long distances around Britain.
We’re still doing that, but in some parts of England and Wales we’re now carrying electricity a little further than we did before.
When it comes to electricity, our role has always been to carry it at high voltage from where it’s generated to where it can be distributed. We do this via the transmission network, which is owned and maintained by the part of our group responsible for electricity transmission.
Power doesn’t reach your home or business via this network – it’s the distribution networks that look after that. Britain’s distribution network operators – of which our electricity distribution business (formerly Western Power Distribution) is the biggest – connect the transmission network to where electricity is used, ‘distributing’ it at lower, more usable voltages.
A good way to think about the difference between our transmission and distribution operations is to imagine Britain’s roads.
Our transmission business carries high voltage electricity around on the ‘motorways’ of the network, and our distribution operation uses the ‘local roads’ to deliver it to where it’s needed in the Midlands, South West or South Wales (if you’re in any other area, one of a dozen or so other regional networks distributes electricity to you).
How are National Grid’s electricity transmission and distribution networks made up?
Electricity Transmission (in England and Wales)
Electricity Distribution (in the Midlands, South West and South Wales)
While our name has changed, it’s still the same dedicated people keeping the lights on in the area served by Western Power Distribution.
Our National Grid transmission and distribution operations look after different networks, but share a commitment to getting electricity where it’s needed safely, reliably and efficiently – all while working towards a cleaner, more affordable energy future.