UK Power Networks: what do they do? (2022)


UK Power Networks are one of the distribution network operators which work to distribute electricity across the UK. They do not generate electricity and nor do they sell it directly to end-users. UK Power Networks are responsible for the cables, towers and transformers which carry electricity from the national grid to a specific part of the UK. There are six different distribution network operators in the UK and they cover 14 regions between them. UK Power Networks is responsible for the area which covers London, the South East and the East of England.
Last updated: November 2022

Part of the money you pay to your energy supplier for the electricity they supply will be used to pay UK Power Networks for running and maintaining the network in the areas they cover. The infrastructure for which UK Power Networks is responsible will include the following:

  • Transformers
  • Poles
  • Meters
  • Towers
  • Cables

How will I know if UK Power Networks is responsible for the network where I live?

The following map breaks the UK into different areas and shows which distribution network operators work in each of those areas. It was put together by the Energy Network Association (ENA), which is the body which represents the distribution network operators:
UK Power Networks

If you’re still not sure whether the local network which carries the energy your supplier sells on to you is the responsibility of UK Power Networks (perhaps because your property is close to the border between two of the different regions) then you can quickly find out online. Pay a visit to the ‘Who’s my network operator?’ page of the ENA website. If you enter your postcode on this page you’ll be told whether UK Power Networks is your distribution network operator. The area covered by UK Power Networks stretches from the river Arun on the South Coast to The Wash in the east, and consists of 29,0000 square kilometres.

When will I need to get in touch with UK Power Networks?

Although UK Power Networks won’t be able to offer any help with regards to the amount you’re paying for your electricity they will be able to give you the name of your supplier if you’re not certain for some reason. You should also contact them with regard to any of the following:

  • If there has been a power cut in your area
  • If you need your power supply changing, or a new power supply arranging
  • If you need maintenance near to any overhead power lines. This could involve covering overhead cables to protect them or cutting back trees which are interfering with power lines

In some cases UK Power Networks will temporarily cut off the supply running through overhead cables so that work on trees or bushes close to the cables can be carried out. If you’re concerned that a tree or bush is dangerously close to an overhead cable then you should contact them as quickly as possible. Their contact details are as follows:

For general enquiries which include:

  • Shrouding overhead lines to make it safe to work near to them
  • Trimming trees which are close to overhead lines
  • Finding out who your electricity supplier is
  • Reporting a problem with any overhead electricity equipment
  • Asking for plans which show where underground cables are located

More info

Telephone 0800 029 4285. The lines open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm

You can also contact them online via Twitter – @UKPowerNetworks – or Facebook around the clock.

To report a power cut or other emergency:

You can access the UK Power Networks real time power cut map here to see if they know about the power cut and when they estimate it will be resolved.

  • To check your area you simply need to enter your postcode.
  • If the power cut is not already featured you can report it using UK Power Networks online form.
  • You can also contact them via Twitter – @UKPowerNetworks or Facebook 24 hours a day.
  • Telephone 24 hours a day to report an emergency on 0800 31 63 105 or simply 105.

What if I need extra support during a power cut?

If you are a vulnerable person who may need extra support in the event of a power cut then you can apply to be placed on UK Power Networks Priority Services Register. If you tick the box on the application which allows them to share information with local utility companies then they will work with those companies to provide extra support in the event of a power cut. The following categories of people are entitled to receive extra support:

  • Anyone who relies on medical equipment
  • Anyone who has refrigerated medicines
  • Anyone who has a serious or chronic illness
  • Anyone who has a disability
  • Anyone who cares for someone who is living with dementia
  • Anyone who is of pensionable age
  • Anyone who has children under the age of five in their household
  • Anyone who needs temporary extra support, such as someone recovering from medical treatment

What extra support will be provided for me?

The extra support provided for vulnerable individuals by UK Power Networks could include the following:

  • A priority telephone number which you can call 24 hours per day
  • A dedicated team who will be in touch to keep you updated throughout the power cut
  • Extra support if needed in the form of advice, home visits and hot meals
  • Keeping friends and relatives informed of the situation and how you are coping with it
  • On some occasions, the help may even extend to transportation to a hotel for a free overnight stay

Does UK Power Networks invest in green projects?

They have a commitment to green policies which runs through much of the work they do. This includes ensuring that all of the businesses on their supply chain have their own environmental management systems in place, committing to reducing their carbon footprint by 20% by 2021 and setting a target to cut the amount of waste being sent to landfill by 90%. An example of a specific green project supported by UK Power Networks is a long term programme to swap the electrical transformers across their network for more energy efficient versions. This is part of a wider £500 million investment and will eventually involve replacing more than 15,000 transformers. The energy saved – 8,5000MWh each year – will be enough to power approximately 2,7000 homes and will save almost 2,200 tonnes of carbon each year.

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Who owns UK Power Networks?

UK Power Networks is owned by CK Infrastructure Holdings Limited, which is an infrastructure company which operates around the globe. As well as electricity distribution the parent company specialises in areas like transportation infrastructure, water infrastructure, waste management, and waste-to-energy. Ownership is shared between CK Infrastructure Holdings Limited, Power Assets Holdings Limited and the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

How many people depend upon UK Power Networks?

UK Power Networks delivers power to 8.3 million homes and businesses.

What do I need to provide UK Power Networks with if I want them to connect my power supply?

If you need a new electricity supply connecting, or an existing supply moving, you will need to ask UK Power Networks to carry out the work. In order to provide you with an accurate quote for carrying out the work, UK Power Networks will need to be given a plan of the property and a map of the surrounding land. This map will have to include:

*   The boundary of your site

*   The names of two of the roads surrounding the property

*   Any obstructions or hazards present on your land

How will I know if a power cut is going to happen?

The majority of power cuts come as a surprise and are caused by unforeseen circumstances. In some cases, however, work which needs to be carried out calls for the power supply to be switched off for a period. The UK Power Networks website includes the live list of power cuts, which are currently taking place or are planned for the immediate future. The same page also explains when power cuts are expected to be resolved. 

Updated on 29 Jan, 2024

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