Posted: 23 February 2015
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Connecting people

In winter, consumers demand more from the energy network than at any other time in the year. How does National Grid fit into the broader picture of seasonal supply?

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Connecting people

Connecting people

National Grid has 99.99999% electricity transmission reliability in England and Wales.

"With power stations at the start of the story and consumers at the end, National Grid sits at the heart of the UK’s energy supply."


10.9m – number of UK consumers that National Grid delivers gas to.

Source: National Grid

When the temperature plummets outside, consumers require extra power at their fingertips whenever they need it. National Grid plays a vital role in getting this energy safely and reliably into your home or business.


With power stations at the start of the story and consumers at the end, National Grid sits at the heart of the UK’s energy supply.


The 2014/15 Winter Outlook Report (click image for more information).

We don’t produce the gas or electricity that flows through our networks – that’s the job of the energy suppliers that we all pay our bills to. We’re responsible for the high-voltage electricity transmission network, high-pressure gas pipes and half of the local gas network in England and Wales.

It’s impossible to store electricity, so we have to perform a careful juggling act, making sure that supply and demand match, minute by minute. The challenge grows in winter, as it’s a season of uncertainty. Even the most reliable weather forecaster can’t be sure how severe a winter will be.

A lengthy cold snap could lead to a supply issue, so balancing the system to handle peak demand is one of the most important things National Grid does. The business puts itself in the shoes of its consumers, who could be in big trouble if their supply came to a standstill.

We can ask generators of all kinds to come on or off the grid to help balance supply and demand, or to manage bottlenecks in the network. Our demand forecasting team is always planning ahead.

Whatever the weather, it’s our mission to connect people to the energy they use. We’re determined to meet the challenge of delivering clean energy to consumers not only this winter, but long into the future.

To find out more:

Please click here to view the Winter Outlook 2014/2015 report.

Five things National Grid does:

  • Takes generated energy and delivers it safely to consumers.
  • Manages the flow, security and quality of electricity.
  • Uses innovative tools to fine tune the system and ensure supply meets demand.
  • Provides data and reports to help the energy market work better.
  • Owns and operates the gas transmission structure in the UK.

Five things National Grid doesn’t do:

  • Build power stations.
  • Ensure there’s enough electricity generation available to meet demand. That’s the job of the energy market, along with the policies and framework that support it.
  • Own the electricity or gas that it transports around the UK.
  • Decide energy tariffs.
  • Provide domestic repairs.



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