This sector deals not with producing energy but the physical distribution of electricity and gas around the country, and the sale of it directly to the public.
Transmission and distribution networks
Companies involved in this area can deal with two sorts of network:
- Transmission networks - which carry high voltage electricity over large distances around the country
- Distribution networks - which then take the electricity from the transmission networks and make it available to company buildings, public services and infrastructure and houses
The National Grid is responsible for the electricity supply on a real-time basis, balancing the system to cope with supply and demand. There's a similar system and infrastructure to deal with gas distribution as well.
Electricity distribution organisations have responsibility for the power line, substation and underground cable network that convey electricity to homes and businesses. The public doesn't deal directly with transmission and distribution companies as these are part of the country's infrastructure - you can't choose one like you would an Energy Suplier..
Energy Suppliers purchase energy on the wholesale market before selling it on to the public; this is who your energy bills come from.
Energy Supply is a competitive market, with customers able to choose their preferred supplier to provide them with gas and electricity.
Work in this sector can vary greatly depending on which side of things you're involved in.
Both transmission / distribution and energy supply will have office based and customer facing roles for administration, management and customer queries, though the energy suppliers have a greater need for customer advisers in their offices and call centres. Engineering and electrical engineering careers are available across the transmission / distribution side due to the need to maintain and evolve the energy infrastructure, whilst energy suppliers will have need of engineers and repair operatives for smaller commercial or residential properties to connect and maintain gas and electrical appliances.