We are a separate company

On 1 April the Electricity System Operator became a legally separate company within the National Grid Group. Find out more about what this change means.

Whole electricity system

The way we generate and use electricity is changing, driven by the challenges of decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitisation. This is creating new opportunities across the whole electricity system. As the Electricity System Operator, we need to work with our stakeholders on a whole system approach to harness these opportunities and deliver value for the consumer. Through the Open Networks project and initiatives such as the Regional Development Programmes we are working collaboratively to develop new ways of working.

Read the latest latest blog piece about our 'whole electricity system' thinking.



Facilitating whole electricity system outcomes

The energy landscape is changing. New decentralised energy resources are connecting to distribution networks, making them into active networks and transforming the role of Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). Many of these stakeholders can provide valuable services to us and also these emerging Distribution System Operators (DSOs). In addition, smart technologies mean many consumers don’t just use power – they can put it back into the system too. This leads to innovative ways of designing and operating transmission and distribution networks.

The traditional distinctions between transmission and distribution networks and processes are blurring. We need a whole system approach with our stakeholders to deliver services efficiently and effectively. Ofgem recognises this need and, as one of four roles for the new, stand-alone ESO, has tasked us with ‘facilitating whole system outcomes’ working with other stakeholders to transform the industry.


Facilitating whole electricity system outcomes - How the ESO is working with stakeholders to transform the energy landscape

The traditional distinctions between transmission and distribution networks and processes are blurring. We need a whole system approach with our stakeholders to deliver services efficiently and effectively. As a stand-alone ESO we need to work with other stakeholders to facilitate whole system outcomes.

This paper discusses how the ESO role is changing to facilitate whole system outcomes and how this links to both the ESO roles and the Open Networks Project.

Download the paper


Whole electricity system thinking - How the ESO can support a transition that delivers consumer value

This paper looks at a world where the ESO works closely with DSOs to ensure routes to local, regional and national markets are optimised, in order to create value for the end consumer. We believe that this world provides a credible whole electricity system vision - but recognise that there are other potential pathways that need to be considered.

Here, we consider the key topics that we believe we need to focus on to deliver this future landscape. We are interested in your views -please email [email protected]


Download the Paper

Our initiatives 

How we are developing new ways to facilitate whole electricity outcomes

Regional Development Programmes

RDP looks across the whole-system landscape for areas of development for additional network capacity, reduce constraints, and open up new revenue streams for market participants.

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Power Potential

This initiative aims to create a new reactive power market for distributed energy resources (DER) and generate additional capacity on the network.

Find out more


Working with innovation partners to adapt to changes in the energy system. Our strategy outlines innovation opportunities that we want to solve in partnership with you.

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Stakeholder forums

How you can help to develop whole electricity system arrangements

Future Worlds (Open Networks)

We have been heavily involved in the development of the Future Worlds Consultation, which takes a whole system view of potential future industry arrangements. This consultation, supported by publicly available modelling, provides insights for the impact of potential industry arrangements on a wide range of industry stakeholders. We would encourage all interested parties to review and respond to this consultation to ensure both our work, and that of the Open Networks project, takes account a broad range of views. This consultation closes on 25 September 2018.

Find out more