Three National Grid workers looking at and working on a touch screen display

How we're organised

National Grid ESO is the electricity system operator for Great Britain.

We sit at the heart of the country’s energy network and it’s our job to make sure electricity is there when people need it.

The National Grid ESO and National Grid PLC

National Grid ESO (ESO) is the electricity system operator for Great Britain.

We sit at the heart of the country’s energy network and it’s our job to make sure electricity is there when people need it.

Our electricity system is one of the most reliable in the world.

We operate 24/7 and every year move 300 Terawatt-hours of electricity (equivalent to 4 trillion kettles boiling at once), with a reliability rate of 99.999%

We are part of National Grid PLC, one of the world’s largest investor-owned energy companies, but we are a legally separate business within the Group. 

This provides transparency in our decision-making and gives confidence that everything we do will promote competition and is ultimately for the benefit of consumers.

National Control

Our control room is at the heart of the action,moving electricity around the country 24/7 to ensure that the right amount of electricity is where it’s needed, when it’s needed – always keeping supply and demand in perfect balance.

We have all sorts of engineers and experts working for us, from people who forecast the weather to those who monitor the frequency of our electricity second by second to ensure it stays within 50 Hz.

National Grid ESO - wind farm turbine close up


As more renewable sources of electricity come onto the system and we move towards a decarbonized future.

We need to ensure our system and the wider transmission network can cope with all these changes.

To do this our networks team plans the network in almost real time through to twenty years ahead.

We assess both asset and commercial solutions, as well as running the connections process for new generators of electricity.


Our ambition is to see competition everywhere and our markets team looks to identify, build and develop the necessary markets and auctions platforms to procure the balancing services required to operate our system – now and in the future.

The team also facilitates any necessary changes to the existing suite of governing codes and the network charging regime.

Markets contacts

Three silhouettes of people in a flowering field at dusk - Responsibility and sustainability

Strategy and Regulation

The Strategy and Regulation team sets forward the vision and direction for the ESO.

They also inform the future of energy, producing key publications such as our flagship Future Energy Scenarios publication, which brings together insight from hundreds of industry stakeholders.

The team also leads on our regulatory relationship with Ofgem, making sure that we are delivering on our existing and future license commitments.   

National Grid ESO - Markets Transformation Roadmap RIIO - Canary wharf at night

How we're regulated

National Grid ESO is regulated by the energy regulator, Ofgem, which has given us our licence to operate.

Ofgem’s role is to protect the interests of existing and future electricity consumers which includes promoting value for money while supporting the transition to a more decarbonised electricity system.

Ofgem sets regulatory price controls for the ESO which inform the activities we will carry out over the relevant price control period and detail the amount we can recover for delivering our services.

Under our licence, we must comply with licence conditions and with certain codes of practice.

Codes like the Security and Quality of Supply Standards and the Grid Code exist to help make sure that the National Electricity Transmission System operates safely, efficiently and reliably.

These codes evolve to meet the changing energy demands of Great Britain.