Timeline of the UK electricity supply industry

The following is a list of major events in the history of the United Kingdom's electricity supply industry.

1882The Electric Lighting Act 1882 (repealed 1989) — allowed the setting up of supply systems by persons, companies or local authorities
1888The Electric Lighting Act 1888 (repealed 1989) — amendment to 1882 Act making the setting up of a supply company easier.
1891London Electric Supply Corporation (LESCo) opened Deptford Power Station, UK's first AC power system, designed by Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti.
1899The Electric Lighting (Clauses) Act 1899 (repealed 1989)
1901Newcastle upon Tyne Electric Supply Company (NESCo) opened Neptune Bank Power Station, the first in the UK to supply three-phase electric power.
1909The Electric Lighting Act 1909 (repealed 1989). Regulated planning consent for building power stations.
1919Williamson Report and Birchenough Report leads to the Electricity (Supply) Act 1919[1](repealed 1989). Established Electricity Commission and appointed Electricity Commissioners
1922The Electricity (Supply) Act 1922 (repealed 1989)
1926Weir Report leads to the Electricity (Supply) Act 1926 (repealed 1989) — created Central Electricity Board and the National Grid operating at 132 kV (50 Hz)
1933The 132 kV National Grid started operating as interconnected set of regional grids.
1936The Electricity Supply (Meters) Act 1936 (repealed 1989)
1938The 132 kV National Grid became integrated.
1943The Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act 1943 (repealed 1989)
1947The Electricity Act 1947 (repealed 1989). It merged 625 electricity companies to be vested in twelve area electricity boards and the generation and 132 kV National Grid were vested with the British Electricity Authority.
1954The Electricity Reorganisation (Scotland) Act 1954 (repealed 1989)
1955British Electricity Authority becomes the Central Electricity Authority. The Scottish area boards are merged into South of Scotland Electricity Board and the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board.
1957The Electricity Act 1957 (repealed 1989). The Central Electricity Authority was dissolved and replaced by Central Electricity Generating Board and the Electricity Council.
1958The new chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board Christopher Hinton, Baron Hinton of Bankside begins the procurement of the new 2000 MW power stations and 400kV grid system
1961The Electricity (Amendment) Act 1961 (repealed 1989)
1963The Electricity and Gas Act 1963 (repealed 1989)
1965Introduction of the first phase of the 400kV Supergrid from West Burton power stations, Nottinghamshire to Sundon in Bedfordshire
1968The Gas and Electricity Act 1968 (repealed 1989)
1969The first of the new 2000 MW Generating Units are officially opened by the Ministry of Power (United Kingdom) Roy Mason at West Burton power stations
1972The Electricity Act 1972 (repealed 1989)
1978Economy 7 introduced.
1979The Electricity (Scotland) Act 1979 (repealed 1989)
1989The Electricity Act 1989 provides for the privatisation of the electricity industry in Great Britain
1990Beginning of the privatization of the Central Electricity Generating Board. The assets of the CEGB are broken up into three new companies: Powergen, National Power and National Grid Company. Later, the nuclear component within National Power was removed and vested in another state-owned company called Nuclear Electric
1991Scottish industry privatised
1992Electricity supply in Northern Ireland privatised. Premier Power formed.
1993Supply industry in Northern Ireland privatised.
2000The Utilities Act 2000 placed responsibility on generators to allow for connecting distributed energy sources to grid.
2001 The Central Electricity Generating Board (Dissolution) Order 2001. CEGB formally wound up.
2007 From 1 November Northern Ireland generators must sell their electricity into the Single Electricity Market, an all-island market with the Republic of Ireland from which suppliers purchase electricity at a single market rate.

See also


  1. Page 41 "Electricity Supply in the UK: A chronology"The Electricity Council, 1987, ISBN 0-85188-105-X
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