The voice of the networks

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What are the energy networks?

Your electricity and gas is sold to you by your energy supplier. It’s carried along wires and pipes – the energy networks – to provide you with power and heat.

Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They look after everything up until the meter in your home. They are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland.

Scroll down to learn more.

Illustration of networks below cityscape Cityscape illustration
Illustration of networks below cityscape Cityscape illustration

300,000km
of gas pipes

The gas network in the UK and Ireland comprises around 300,000km of pipes – enough to go around the world seven times

1,000,000km
of electricity cables

The electricity network in the UK and Ireland comprises around 1,000,000km of cables – enough to go around the world 25 times

What are the energy networks?

Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community.

There's two types of network. Transmission networks are like the motorways of the networks, moving energy efficiently over long distances. Distribution networks are like the A-roads of the networks, carrying gas and electricity into your home or business.

Electricity substations convert high-voltage electricity from the transmission network, so that it can be delivered to your home or business safely. Gas pressure reducing stations reduce the gas pressure so that it can be carried along the local gas distribution network and used in your home or business.

30 million

Around 30 million homes and businesses are connected to the electricity networks.

22 million

Around 22 million homes and businesses are connected to the gas networks.

9%

The networks account for around 9% of the average bill (Oct 2022 price cap).

Unlocking a sustainable future

We are unlocking the UK's move towards Net Zero. Achieving Net Zero means not adding to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

We are investing, innovating and helping to make all of this possible. We’re creating the world’s first zero carbon gas grid and using data and technology to create a smart grid that will enable more renewable energy to be generated.

We're connecting more renewable generation and electric vehicle charging points, enabling the installation of heat pumps and supporting the shift from natural gas to gases like hydrogen and biogas.

Creating tomorrow’s networks

The drive to
renewable energy

Industries and sectors are becoming increasingly interconnected. Our power, heat, transport, waste and industrial sectors are all interdependent, so the solutions for their decarbonisation must be too.

Digital and technological innovation is helping network operators to manage the national uptake of electric vehicles, connect more offshore wind and renewables, and reduce the emissions of our heating systems.

28,000

At the beginning of 2022, there were more than 28,000 electric vehicle charging points in the UK.

A greener world

In order to hit our climate targets in the most efficient and least disruptive way, we will need to reduce the emissions of our gas networks.

Our Gas Goes Green programme is showing how we can change the country’s extensive gas network and create the world’s first zero carbon gas grid. We will be using hydrogen and other low-carbon gases to heat our homes, and play a vital role in heavy goods vehicles, trains and planes.

85%

Around 85% of homes in Great Britain are connected to the gas network.

£89bn

Moving to a zero-carbon gas grid will help save bill-payers £89bn by 2050.

Smarter, faster,
more efficient

To help homes and businesses take full advantage of new technologies such as electric vehicles and heat pumps, our Open Networks programme is underpinning the delivery of an even smarter, more efficient grid.

New businesses will open and others will diversify as we build on our world-leading innovation in smart grids, technologies and services. In the future, these businesses could also see their products exported globally.

£8bn

£8bn a year could be saved by networks investing in innovative new technologies.

Skilled people,
great qualities

Investing in smarter systems and greener gas presents opportunities for jobs and growth. Network operators are focused on recruitment which represents their communities and inspires a new generation.

400,000 jobs are needed by 2050 to deliver the UK’s emissions targets. More jobs will be needed within the energy networks, the supply chain and in the new services and industries that emerge.

45,000

Around 45,000 people work in the UK and Ireland's electricity and gas networks. 36,000 in Great Britain and around 9,000 in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

1,200

Our apprenticeship programmes support more than 1,200 people across the UK.

Keeping everyone safe

Protecting the environment and ensuring safety are at the heart of network operators’ priorities. That includes both the safety of the public, and the workforce that maintains and operates the networks.

On behalf of the whole energy industry, we run the Powering Improvement health and safety strategy. Working with companies across the sector, unions and HSE, the programme has been instrumental in helping to keep everyone safe.

240,000 tonnes

The new hydrogen-ready gas mains could save 240,000 tonnes of carbon a year.

850,000 tonnes

The carbon intensity of the electricity networks has been cut by the equivalent of 850,000 tonnes of carbon in two years.

Keeping you safe

Our energy networks are designed to be highly resilient. However, when problems occur, we're here to help.

Smell gas? Call 0800 111 999

Northern Ireland: 0800 002 001
Republic of Ireland: 1850 20 50 50

Power cut? Call 105 

Northern Ireland: 03457 643643
Republic of Ireland: 1850 372 999

14%

The number of power cuts has fallen by 11% since 2015, while their length has fallen by 9%.

Ready to help

Seven million people have already signed up to the free Priority Services Register. If you need extra help, the free service provides access to additional support in an emergency, as well as accessible information.

As gas is often the cheapest way to heat a home, the gas network companies can help those who are not connected to the gas grid and may be having difficulties paying their bills, by providing funding toward the cost of connecting to their networks.

9/10

Average customer service scores for the energy networks are nine out of ten.

Delivering for our communities

The networks are set to spend and invest around £60bn between 2021 and 2028 to meet the challenge of delivering energy to communities safely, sustainably and reliably.

Safely

The networks operate the Power Cut? Call 105 and Smell Gas? Call 0800 111 999 emergency numbers, keeping customers safe and informed during energy emergencies.

82,000

The number of emergency calls handled per day by the energy networks during Storm Arwen

Sustainably

We're enabling new energy markets and helping decarbonise heating and transportation, supporting the shift away from natural gas to hydrogen, heat pumps and biogas and connecting electric vehicles.

+25%

More than a quarter of our electricity generation and 100 green gas production sites are connected to the local energy networks.

Reliably

The energy networks have never been more reliable and resilient while the levels of customer support have also never been better.

+1,000

Since 2008, GB networks have invested £1.2bn on more than 1,000 innovation projects. A relentless focus on innovation will help to improve reliability, while keeping costs down for the communities we serve.