Distribution Network Operators

The companies that own the physical networks that carry our electricity

Distribution Network Operators – a little history

Following deregulation, the market place remains geographically split into 14 Public Electricity Supply Areas (See Fig. 1) which in 2012 are run by 6 different Distribution Network Operators.

In 1990 the Area Electricity Boards were replaced by Regional Electricity Companies, which were then privatised. The DNOs are the successors to the distribution arms of the RECs.

  • These areas reflect the boundaries of the old electricity boards prior to deregulation. However, there are now over 20 different supply companies to choose from and most also offer gas supplies as well.
  • In each area the DNO has a monopoly on distributing electricity from the grid to homes and businesses.
  • They are NOT allowed to supply electricity. This must be done by a separate company of the consumer’s choice, who make use of the distribution network.
  • The cost of distribution is built in to the price of your electricity, meaning that in areas that require more pipes and more maintenance, like Scotland, the price of electricity and standing charges are generally higher than they would be in London, for example.
  • You may need to contact your distributor in case of arranging a new electricity or gas connection or reporting a problem with your supply. (See contact numbers below)

Finding out your MPAN and who your supplier is

If you need to find out who is supplying you with electricity, or you don’t know your MPAN, check which area you are in and call the MPAS number below:

10Eastern EnglandUK Power Networks0845 601 4516
11East MidlandsWestern Power Distribution0845 724 0240
12LondonUK Power Networks0845 601 4516
13North WalesSP Energy Networks0845 273 4444
14West MidlandsWestern Power Distribution0845 724 0240
15North East EnglandNorthern Powergrid08450 702 703
16North WestElectricity NorthWest0800 195 4141
17North ScotlandSSE Power Distribution0800 048 3515
18South ScotlandSP Energy Networks0845 273 4444
19South East EnglandUK Power Networks0845 601 4516
20Southern EnglandSSE Power Distribution0800 048 3516
21South WalesWestern Power Distribution0845 601 3341
22South WestWestern Power Distribution0845 601 2989
23YorkshireNorthern Powergrid08450 702 703

Finding out which distribution zone you are in

You can find your area ID on your bill – it is the first 2 digits of the bottom line of your MPAN. You can see the area IDs on the map below: