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Powering our Lives...
We're the people who manage the electricity network that powers everyday life for more than 8 million people across 3.9 million homes and businesses in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.
Put simply, we make sure the electricity you buy from your chosen energy supplier gets to you safely, whenever you need it. And, as part of our customer service commitments, if your power ever gets interrupted, for whatever reason, be it severe weather or emergency maintenance, we’ll be there to fix it - giving 100% day and night, rain and shine, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Delivering safe, reliable electricity is at the heart of what we do and we're proud to play an essential role in powering everyday life for the customers, homes, businesses and economies we serve.
In an evolving energy industry, we also have a key role in creating and managing future energy systems that increasingly interact with our customers and smart and low carbon technologies. That why we're innovating and investing today so we're ready for the demands of tomorrow.
WHAT WE DO
We take electricity from National Grid's transmission network (which connects the larger power stations) and from smaller generators (such as windfarms) that are directly connected to our network.
We distribute electricity to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the region through our network of more than 63,000 substations and some 60,000 miles of overhead power lines and underground cables spanning 9,650 square miles.
WHO WE ARE
We employ some 2,700 people.
As well as our electricity distribution business, we operate two subsidiaries - Integrated Utility Services and CalEnergy Resources Limited.
Integrated Utility Services offers turnkey engineering solutions to customers, including other electricity distributors, across the UK and Ireland.
CalEnergy Resources Limited participates in upstream oil and gas projects in Australia, Poland and the UK.
We are a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which owns other energy companies - mainly in North America.
As part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy our vision is:
To be the best energy company in serving our customers while delivering sustainable energy solutions.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy is itself a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Mr Buffett is famous for his long-term approach to investing and for his relatively conservative approach to running businesses.
That approach is well suited to a business like ours, which requires a lot of capital investment in assets that will last a long time.
CARING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Here at Northern Powergrid we are committed to promoting environmental awareness, best practice, and legal compliance amongst all staff. Our Environmental Policy Statement reflects this engagement. We take our environmental responsibilities seriously and have developed a strategy to manage the direct local environmental impact of our activities. This includes our carbon footprint, the risk of noise, water and land pollution, waste recycling, and the care for wildlife. We also manage the visual impact of our overhead lines, balancing the network requirements with our stakeholders’ input.
Our electrical network will play a key role in the low-carbon economy. Meeting the UK’s carbon-reduction targets will bring substantial change in the generation and demand of electricity. Our region is very active in developing wind and solar generation and we continuously aim to improve the services we provide to generation developers connecting directly to our network. Furthermore, we expect our customers to use new technology in the future (such as heat pumps, solar panels and electric vehicles) that will place increased and new demands on our network, and we see our role in this changing context as one of facilitation, by adapting our network.
CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY
We understand that, during a power cut, some customers may need additional support. That’s why we provide a Priority Services Register. There are many different ways that we can help our priority service customers, which includes keeping you as up to date as possible through calls or text messages, sending out our Customer Support Vehicle to provide hot drinks and snacks in your area, and providing a ‘winter warmer’ pack full of useful things to keep warm and safe.
At Northern Powergrid we not only aim to support our customers and communities during a power cut: everyday, through our partnerships with the British Red Cross and National Energy Action, we offer extra support to our customers when they need us.
Our volunteering programme gives our employees the opportunity to support their local communities. Through our Global Days of Service volunteering programme, employees can receive funding from the business for their chosen local community group. Our company volunteering programme sees our people attend events that we carry out in partnership with both the Trussell Trust and Ahead Partnership, where colleagues can help support their local food banks and can help to inspire school students to pursue paths in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects.
Our school safety visits programme and free education resources successfully promote safety and raise awareness of the dangers surrounding electricity distribution to thousands of school children in our area every year.
Through our Priority Services Register, Citizens Advice Bureau Fuel Debt Advisor, publications, support for community foundations and employee volunteering initiatives, we support our customers helping them to save money, keep warm, stay healthy and safe.
CARING FOR OUR CUSTOMERS
As a 24-hour business we're constantly here for our customers.
From our online power cut map and text messaging update service to our 24-hour contact centre and social media pages, we're ready to support our customers when they need us. The national 105 power cut number also makes it easier than ever to contact us if their lights do go out.
Every day we invest around £1 million in managing and improving our network so we can power everyday life for our customers.
We have invested in intelligent fuses and fault-location equipment on our low-voltage network to reduce the dependency on manual operation to restore power, shortening power cut times for our customers.
On our high-voltage network we've carried out significant upgrades to our control system, enabling our network to reconfigure itself automatically to respond to faults, restoring supplies for our customers more quickly.
We are are here for our customers 24/7, powering their lives, and through our customer service commitments, we remain ready to support them whenever they need us.
We have a strong-track record for innovation.
We don’t see it as a department or a side-line of our business – it’s integral in all areas of our business culture.
We introduce innovations on our network to ensure we are constantly improving our capabilities to meet new demands, and to deliver new customers benefit while reducing costs.
We are dedicating more time and effort to the following areas:
WHAT ARE OUR NETWORK CHARGES?
The cost of our service is called ‘distribution use of system charges’. They are not billed direct to customers, instead we charge your chosen electricity supplier for using our network to transport electricity to your door and depending on the type of meter you have installed.
For domestic customers and small businesses our charges are generally not visible to you, included in the bill you receive from your electricity supplier. We charge your supplier based on a daily fixed charge and for the units you consume.
For industrial and commercial customers our charges may be identifiable in the bill you receive from your electricity supplier, and we charge your supplier based on daily fixed charge; time of use unit charges; the amount of capacity you have reserved on our network and reactive power charges.
Our network-related charges are around 15% of a domestic customer's average annual electricity bill. This equates to around £85 a year (23p a day). If you would like to find out more about our costs then please visit our use of system charges page.
Details of what makes up your energy electricity bill can be found on the regulators’ website. ‘Network charges’ include the charges issued by the Transmission Operator, as well as the Distribution Operator (us and our peers). The category ‘Network charges’ also includes the gas network costs if you are looking at a ‘dual- fuel bill’ rather than an ‘electricity bill’.