The role of National Grid in the Great Britain energy market
Produced in partnership with DLA Piper

The following Energy practice note produced in partnership with DLA Piper provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The role of National Grid in the Great Britain energy market
  • Background and history
  • National Grid in GB gas markets
  • Gas transmission network operator
  • LNG operations
  • National Grid in GB electricity markets
  • Electricity transmission system operator, SO/TO units
  • Role in the Capacity Market and CfD schemes
  • Interconnector operation
  • National Grid and the role of ELEXON

The role of National Grid in the Great Britain energy market

Background and history

National Grid is a group of companies operating in Great Britain (GB) and the USA, specifically the States of New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. This article focuses on National Grid´s GB operations and how it fits into the GB energy markets.

The origins of the electricity side of National Grid’s operations can be found in the UK Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB), which was established in 1957, and was a state-owned utility responsible for electricity generation and transmission in England and Wales.

In contrast, the origins of the gas aspects of National Grid’s operations (as well as the entirely separate British Gas plc/Centrica plc) derive from the state owned British Gas Corporation, which was established in 1972, replacing the National Gas Council, itself established in 1916 as a body for representatives from the governing bodies of gas market participants.

In the late 1980s and 1990s, the GB gas and electricity markets both underwent privatisation following the entry into force of the Gas Act 1986 (GA 1986) and the Electricity Act 1989 (EA 1989). As part of this privatisation process:

  1. in the 1990s, CEGB was privatised and broken down, with the transmission business being transferred to the National Grid Company plc, part of National Grid Group plc, and

  2. in 1986, the British Gas Corporation was

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