The voice of the networks

Frequently asked questions

Questions about the energy industry? We’ve listed some of the most common questions right here.

If you’re still struggling to find what you’re looking for, try our site search. If you’re looking for a specific technical document, our Resource library might be the place for you.

 

Questions about Energy Networks Association

Learn more about what we do to support the energy networks.

Questions about the energy industry

Trying to work out your DNO from your GDN?

  • Where can I find out how much demand there is for electricity?

    National Grid ESO publish monthly insights which provide information on electricity generated in the previous month. Real-time grid information is also available from National Grid ESO.

  • What is a DNO?

    DNO stands for distribution network operator. It’s the company that owns and operates the power lines and infrastructure that connects homes and commercial properties in your area to the electricity transmission network. You can find out who your distribution network operator is using our postcode search tool.

  • What is a GDN?

    GDN stands for gas distribution network. There are eight in Great Britain. It’s the company that owns and operates the gas pipes and infrastructure that connects homes and commercial properties in your area to the gas network. You can find out who your gas distribution network operator is using our postcode search tool.

  • What is the national grid?

    The national grid is a term often used to describe the electricity transmission network. This is the network which carries electricity over large distances across the country, from large generators and into the local electricity distribution network.

  • How do the energy networks contribute to the economy?

    The wires and pipes are the arteries of our economy, delivering energy to over 30 million homes and businesses across the UK and Ireland. To do this safely and reliably, the businesses which run the networks employ 45,000 people and have spent and invested over £60 billion in the last eight years.

Your energy supply

Network operators are different from your energy supplier, but we can point you in the right place.

Operating the networks

From regulation to financing, we have your questions covered.

Emergencies

Help and advice during an emergency.

  • What should I do if I smell gas?

    Smell gas? Immediately call the national gas emergency number on 0800 111 999.

    • DO open doors and windows to ventilate the property.
    • DO turn off the gas at the mains tap. This can usually be located near the gas meter and has a handle that can be turned 90 degrees. If the gas leak is in a cellar or basement, do not enter and instead evacuate the building.

    If you suspect you have a gas leak or you smell gas, it is important that you don’t do any of the following as these could place you in further danger:

    • DON’T turn any power or light switches on or off.
    • DON’T light any sort of flame within the property.
    • DON’T use any appliances that could cause a spark.

    Sometimes a gas leak can lead to you feeling physical symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, nausea and headaches. These symptoms should ease when you leave the property, however you should visit your GP as a precaution if you’ve been exposed to a gas leak.

  • What should I do if there’s a power cut?

    In Great Britain, call 105 from your phone. If you live in Northern Ireland you should contact Northern Ireland Electricity Networks and if you live in the Republic of Ireland you should contact ESB Networks. Your electricity network operator is different from your energy supplier. In the UK, you can also find your local electricity network operator’s contact details by entering your postcode on our postcode finder.

  • What do I do if I come across a fallen or damaged power line?

    Treat electricity cables as live, stay away and call your local network operator immediately. If you see electricity lines that are down or causing significant risk to the public, call 999.

    To reach your local electricity network operator in Great Britain, call 105 from your phone. If you live in Northern Ireland you should contact Northern Ireland Electricity Networks and if you live in the Republic of Ireland you should contact ESB Networks. Your electricity network operator is different from your energy supplier. In the UK, you can also find your local electricity network operator’s contact details by entering your postcode on our postcode finder.

  • What is carbon monoxide poisoning?

    Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. Breathing it in can make you unwell, and it can kill if you’re exposed to high levels. Further information is available on Energy UK’s Carbon Monoxide Be Alarmed campaign page.

How are you supporting climate change targets?

The energy networks play a pivotal role in preparing for a net-zero emissions future.

  • What is the Open Networks project?

    Open Networks is a project run by the Energy Networks Association. We are creating the UK and Ireland’s smart grid to ensure we have the energy capacity we need in the future, without the need to build expensive new infrastructure.

    We’re creating new opportunities for consumers to benefit from the smart grid by selling power back to the grid and being rewarded for reducing their demand during peak hours.

    We’re overhauling systems, processes and policies to make it easier to connect low-carbon energy to the grid and take advantage of new smart technology that is becoming common place in our communities. Technology like solar panels, electric vehicles and battery storage.

  • What is the Gas Goes Green project?

    Gas Goes Green is a project run by the Energy Networks Association. We’re creating the world’s first zero-carbon gas grid by speeding up the switch from natural gas to hydrogen for the 85% of UK households connected to the gas grid.

  • What is ‘net zero’?

    The UK Government has set a legally-binding target to reach net-zero emissions by the year 2050 (2045 in Scotland). The same commitment has also been made by the government of Ireland.

    This means that any greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity must be balanced out by methods of removing emissions from the atmosphere, such as planting trees, or carbon capture technologies.

  • How are the energy network companies helping us get to net-zero emissions?

    The energy network companies have a leading role to play in helping reach our net-zero emissions target, by connecting greater levels of renewable energy whilst providing the new infrastructure we need to cut our carbon emissions in new areas, such as heat and transport.

Career opportunities

Interested in working in the energy sector?