What is a distribution network?

The distribution network is the lower voltage electricity network – part of the ‘motorway network’ of the energy world. It distributes large quantities of electricity over short distances via wires, subsea cables and underground cables, carried on a system of mainly metal towers, wooden poles and substations.

It is the last stage of bringing power to your home. The generation assets (like wind farms and power plants) produce the electricity, which is transported over large distances at high voltage by the transmission network. The voltage is then gradually reduced until it reaches the distribution network. Then, via transformers in the distribution network substations the voltage is reduced further. Once the voltage is low enough to be safe for homes and businesses to use, it is distributed directly to the property.

In Scotland, these local networks operate below 132kV whereas in England the distribution network includes 132kV.

SSE's distribution portfolio

kilometres of overhead lines and underground cables

SSE's distribution network operating areas

SSE's operating expertise

With nearly a quarter of a century's experience, SSEN Distribution are proud of their past and prepared for the future.

SSEN Distribution serve some of the most diverse and unique geographies across the UK, and keep customers and communities connected whilst developing the flexible electricity network vital to achieving net zero.

Their skilled teams are based right across the regions they serve, from the bustle of West London to the smallest villages in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. They are supported by engineering and customer service teams based in major offices and depots in centres like Reading, Portsmouth, Perth and Inverness.

With a clear commitment to ensuring customers have more involvement in vital infrastructure investment decisions, network reliability is a key priority for SSEN and the customers it serves.

As the way we live our lives changes SSEN Distribution is consistently investing and innovating to improve network resilience and future-proof power supplies for changing demands, from rolling out large-scale EV charging schemes to supporting small community generation projects.

More on distribution

Becoming a Distribution System Operator

Transition to DSO

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Faults with the distribution network

Power cuts and emergencies

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Our Independent Network Operator (IDNO)

Optimal Power Networks

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Our distribution network business unit

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