About the grid
We are one of the world’s largest investor-owned utilities, focused on transmission activities in electricity and gas. We play a vital role in connecting millions of people to the energy they use - safely, reliably and efficiently.
As system operator (SO) in Britain, we make sure gas and electricity are transported safely and efficiently from where it is produced to where it is consumed. We seek to make sure that supply and demand are balanced in real-time and we facilitate the connection of assets to the transmission system.
Our other activities mainly relate to non-regulated businesses and other commercial operations not included within the business segments, such as: interconnectors; UK-based gas metering activities; UK property management; a UK liquefied natural gas (LNG) importation terminal; US LNG operations; US unregulated transmission pipelines; and corporate activities.
In 2016/17, we announced plans to create National Grid Ventures. With effect from April 2017, we have brought together key assets outside our core regulated businesses into this new unit.
Our purpose, vision, strategy, and values
Having a clear sense of what we stand for as a company and what it is that binds us all together is vitally important. This is what we call our purpose. In simple terms, it’s what drives our desire to serve our customers and makes us proud about the work we do.
Our purpose is to bring energy to life. In its simplest form ‘bring energy to life’ means getting the heat, light, and power that customers rely on to their homes and businesses. But ‘life’ also means supporting the communities that we are a part of and live among to support the economic growth and sustainability of wider society.
Our vision describes how we create value – not just today, but in the future too.
Our vision is: ‘We will exceed the expectations of our customers, shareholders and communities today and make possible the energy systems of tomorrow.’
The needs of our customers, shareholders and communities are at the heart of everything we do. So, our vision statement clearly describes the ambitious challenge we have set ourselves – to make sure we deliver value for them every day.
Our vision also looks to the future, reminding us of the critical role we will play for future generations. We are already seeing changes in our energy system as more renewable and decentralised generation is introduced. To be relevant in this future, we have to play an active role in helping shape the energy landscape, and benefiting from what it provides.
We have three strategic priorities for our business that will help us achieve our vision.
1) Find new ways of optimising our operational performance.
Our customers want and need us to be more efficient, so we must find ways to improve how we run our business. We have looked at enhancing our productivity and customer experience through more efficient and customer-focused processes. Given the scale of our core business in the UK and US, even small improvements will have a huge impact on our overall performance. Finding new ways of optimising our operational performance will be an important factor in our ability to compete and grow. It creates the financial capacity and the capability for us to future-proof our business.
2) Look for opportunities to grow our core business.
Delivering strong operational performance provides us with a foundation to pursue other opportunities. We will continue to pursue business development opportunities that are close to our core business. In the US, we will build on our successful efforts over the past two years to pursue opportunities in electricity and gas transmission. In the UK, interconnectors and competitive onshore transmission projects will be our focus over the next decade.
3) Make sure National Grid is better equipped for the future.
We need to future-proof our business against the effects of a changing energy landscape. The operation of our networks is already affected by changes to the generation mix, while the needs and expectations of our customers are evolving.
Our preparations for the future have already begun in the UK and US with the establishment of National Grid Ventures, which brings together our non-network businesses to focus on targeted investment in the energy sector outside of our core business. We are also looking to develop new capabilities that are essential for long-term success. For example, our partnership with Sunrun, the largest dedicated residential solar company in the US, allows us to increase our capability in the distributed energy space, and enhance our ability to meet the changing energy needs of our customers and communities.
We know that how we deliver is as important as what we deliver. If our purpose is the ‘why’, our values are the ‘how’. They help shape our spirit, attitude and what guides us. We have to adapt and develop our values to align with the expectations of our customers and communities, without losing sight of the things that make us strong today.
Our values build on and protect our strong foundations while looking to the future. They are aligned to our purpose and help our people understand how we expect to achieve our purpose and vision for our customers and each other.
Every day we do the right thing and find a better way.
‘Do the right thing’ pulls together our foundational values – keeping each other and the public safe; complying with all the relevant rules, regulations and policies; respecting our colleagues, customers, and communities; and saying what we think and challenging constructively. ‘Find a better way’ challenges us to focus on performance and continuous improvement for our customers, our shareholders, and communities.