National Grid ESO is at the heart of the transformation to a fully decarbonised electricity system by 2035, whilst continuing each day to reliably and safely keep the lights on for homes and business across Great Britain.

NGESO Family with kites and wind turbine

Our Mission

Our mission is to drive the transformation to a fully decarbonised electricity system by 2035 which is reliable, affordable and fair for all.

This aligns to the 2035 government target of a decarbonised power system. It’s important to note that although the mission only mentions electricity, as per our current license and operational remit, we recognise that an industry-wide, whole-system approach will be needed to achieve the government target. We also understand that the acceleration of wider industry and societal change is necessary to deliver this target.

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Our Ambitions

Our ambitions look towards our emerging future role at the heart of a new Future System Operator (FSO). In April 2022, the government announced that a new, independent FSO is needed to help meet the challenges of reaching national net zero targets. Further details on the FSO Consultation can be found on the BEIS website.

Under our mission, we have five distinct and action-oriented ambitions:

Ensuring the electricity system can operate carbon-free by 2025

A clear, short-term, ambitious, achievable and well-accepted goal.

We remain firmly committed to our ambition of ensuring the electricity system can operate carbon-free by 2025. By doing this we will be able to reliably operate the electricity system with whatever quantity of zero-carbon electricity is being generated at that time, so we will be prepared for the anticipated occasions of entirely carbon-free power from this time onwards. This is the first step of many that is preparing the way for operating a fully decarbonised electricity system by 2035.

Since 2013, we're proud to say the amount of carbon-based electricity in our system has reduced by an impressive 64%. But there’s still plenty more to do before we reach our zero-carbon target.

The Electricity System Transformation

Our Road to Zero Carbon report charts the transformation of Britain's electricity system on its journey from coal to clean – and how we aim to run it purely with zero carbon power by 2025.

Empowering Consumers

We launched our Carbon Intensity App* to show people the greenest times of day to use electricity and help them see real-time information on how our electricity is being produced.

*available for free on Google Play Store and The App Store

Engaging as a trusted partner

Using our unique position at the heart of the energy system, we must bring together the industry to meet net zero goals.

We also recognise that we cannot do this alone.

By engaging as a trusted partner, we will work with our customers and stakeholders through the transformation of the energy industry

Get Plugged In

Find out more about our external engagement by signing up for our weekly industry newsletter ‘Plugged In’.

  Subscribe to Plugged In

Driving competition for the benefit of consumers

Our mindset of promoting competition everywhere remains critical and supports maximising consumer value.

We will continue to use our impartial position to work in partnership with others across the industry to drive competition for the benefit of consumers.

Get involved in our Net Zero Market Reform programme, established to examine holistically the changes required to enable the current GB electricity market design to achieve net zero.

We are working with our industry partners to enable competition for the design, build and ownership of onshore transmission solutions.

Find out more about ourEarly Competition Plan Project.

Being innovative, digital and data-driven

Innovation, data and digital technologies are a fundamental part of our core business and to achieving our mission.

Our newly stated ambition of being innovative, digital and data-driven recognises the importance of innovative digital technologies that will underpin GB’s energy system transformation.

Greater transparency of our operational decision making ensures those who are working with the ESO can understand our approach, access our data and enable further industry innovation.

We encourage you to visit our Data Portal and welcome your feedback and engagement in our weekly Operational Transparency Forum in order to collaboratively design new datasets and help us provide additional meaningful insight. You can also view our Transparency roadmap for 2022-23 which contains a brief overview of the year ahead.

Please contact the Operational Transparency Forum Team at [email protected]

Being the net zero employer of choice

Our mission can only be realised alongside our people, who have the skills and desire to be part of the net zero journey.

Achieving these goals relies upon us attracting and developing the right people with the necessary skills and capabilities. We recognise the exciting opportunities that delivering a net zero future will generate, and we have an ambition to both attract and retain great talent by being the net zero employer of choice.

If you are interested in joining the ESO at the heart of GB’s journey to net zero, visit our careers page.

Our business plan

What is RIIO?

Every business needs a business plan, and we’re no exception.

The difference with National Grid ESO is that we’re a regulated business so what we are going to deliver is agreed in partnership with our regulator, Ofgem, as well as the wider energy industry.

Our business plans, also known as RIIO business plansare long-term plans that detail the investments we’ll make, how we’ll innovate for the future and the performance outcomes upon which we’ll be measured. 

This ensures that we are undertaking the right activities and projects to meet our ambitions and achieve our Mission, ultimately delivering the best value for consumers in a transparent and accountable way.

Why is it called RIIO?

RIIO is a performance-based framework created by Ofgem to determine what energy companies can charge for their services and what companies must deliver.

The need for Ofgem to be involved is down to the fact that monopoly businesses, such as the ESO, have no natural competition (like supermarkets, for example, where they must keep prices low to prevent losing customers to a cheaper supermarket).

RIIO is short for Revenue = Incentives + Innovation + Outputs

It means that the amount the ESO can earn from operating the electricity system is fixed for a certain amount of time, known as a ‘price control period’. It may not seem like a big deal, but this helps keep the energy market stable.

Working within the RIIO framework means that we are required to operate the electricity system reliably, economically, safely and always with our customers and the consumer in mind