The voice of the networks

Securing a green future

Tackling the global climate emergency means investing in new ways to heat our homes, light our streets and power our vehicles.

Supporting net-zero emissions

Climate change is the defining issue of our time and the energy network companies are playing a crucial role in delivering Britain’s 2050 net-zero emissions target.

Private enterprise has already made Britain a world-leader in connecting smarter, cleaner and reliable renewable energy sources. We need to build on these innovations with stable, long-term investment, as quickly as possible, to reach net-zero emissions.

The energy network companies are woven into the fabric of the country and have shown their ability to successfully deliver risk management, innovation, performance and value for money for all.

What is ‘net zero’?

The UK Government has set a target for our country to reach net-zero emissions emissions by the year 2050. 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 Britain’s energy network companies helping us get to net-zero emissions?

Britain’s 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.

We can’t risk any disruption or delay

The UK economy will need to spend between 1-2% of its total wealth each year to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. This means significant long-term, stable and sustained investment, without delay or disruption, to ensure the safe keeping of our environment.

Reaching net-zero emissions

  • A superpower of renewable energy

    Private investment has helped make Britain a superpower of renewable energy. Let’s build on that to reach net-zero emissions as quickly as possible.

    Redesigning the way our grids work will enable us to connect even more renewable energy projects, more quickly than ever.

    We are rolling out new, local energy markets that use the latest smart energy technologies in homes and businesses to allow us to make our grids more capable.

    The disruption of implementing state ownership will undermine Britain’s world leading progress in this area – just at the point when the speed of that progress is more critical than ever.

  • The approach to climate change must be local and national

    The decarbonised energy future is as much local as it is national. Our cities, towns and communities need to be on the front-line of fighting climate change.

    Energy networks are part of the fabric of every region in the country – they are regional companies playing a national role. Network companies are already working with communities and local governments to tackle climate change – and we want to explore new ways to work more closely.

    To deliver deeper levels of decarbonisation we will need to make our local energy grids more capable to connect more renewable energy – we are already undertaking that work.

    This will help create new smart energy markets for households, businesses and communities.

  • Private investment will get us to net-zero emissions

    We need private investment in our energy infrastructure to reach our net-zero emissions target as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

    Reaching our net-zero emissions target will require significant long-term, stable and sustained investment from our economy – wherever that money might come from. Britain’s network companies are proven in their ability to successfully deliver risk management, innovation, performance and value for money.

    Significant disruption to the energy networks would delay the urgent progress towards net-zero emissions.

    Taking the energy network companies into public ownership would put Britain’s net-zero emissions target at risk. The money spent nationalising Britain’s energy networks could be spent on investing in new wind farms or nuclear power plants instead.

    State ownership will come at a cost to other important public services, such as healthcare and education.

    Time is running out. Let’s not waste it on scrapping what works and starting again.

  • A relentless focus on innovation

    We need to be relentless in our focus on innovation to deliver net-zero emissions as quickly as possible, and reap the benefits that it can deliver. No-one does that better than private enterprise.

    Private enterprise is key to delivering innovation – in terms of approach to risk management and taking advantage of new technologies to deliver a more capable grid.

    The lessons we’ve learnt from connecting record amounts of renewable energy are vital to connecting the new technologies we need to reach the net-zero emissions target.

  • Delivering results requires investment

    Private investment in our energy infrastructure is vital. Dividends paid out by network companies secure vital long-term, stable and sustained investment.

    The profits that energy networks make support greater investment in our energy infrastructure and are vital if Britain is to meet the challenge of net-zero emissions.

    Dividends have delivered huge levels of investment that have been good for bill payers, good for the environment and good for the country.

    Dividends paid out by network companies benefit us all – from retired coal miners and teachers to families looking to invest their hard-earned cash. Millions of Britons have invested their pensions in British energy networks, contributing to this vital infrastructure while saving for their futures.

    Profits from energy will – and should – be subject to scrutiny, particularly as we continue the debate around how our society and economy carries the cost of reaching net-zero emissions. However, quoting total figures without the context of the investment poured back into the networks, the impact this has already had and its contribution to us meeting our net-zero emissions targets does not provide the full picture.

  • A track record of providing a vital public service

    No person should be left behind by decarbonisation. Britain’s network companies may be private, but they have a great track record of delivering a vital public service.

    Britain’s energy network companies have a universal obligation of service to every man, woman and child in Britain. They are considered to be some of the best in the world in terms of their performance for the public – not just in terms operational performance but in fulfilling their social obligations.

    Because our energy networks are structured around long-term investments, network companies have a vested interest in the long-term future and act responsibly on that basis.

    Investment by networks benefits us all – networks pay returns to pensioners who used to work as teachers, coal miners.