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Distribution network operators (DNOs) are companies licensed to distribute electricity in Great Britainmarker by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets.

There are fourteen licensed areas, based on the former Area Electricity Board boundaries, where the DNO distributes electricity from the transmission grid to homes and businesses. They are also responsible for allocating the core MPAN in their respective areas. Under the Utilities Act 2000 they are prevented from supplying electricity; this is done by a separate company chosen by the consumer who makes use of the distribution network.

In 1990, the Area Boards were replaced by regional electricity companies, which were then privatised. The DNOs are the successors to the distribution arms of the RECs. The DNO have a Trade Association called the Energy Networks Association

As of November 2008, nine companies hold the fourteen distribution licences:

Distribution Network Areas and Operators

No. Area Company Area ID
1 North Scotland Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution 17
2 South Scotland Scottish Power Energy Networks 18
3 North East England CE Electric (NEDL) 15
4 North West Electricity North West 16
5 Yorkshire CE Electric (YEDL) 23
6 East Midlands Central Networks 11
7 West Midlands Central Networks 14
8 London EDF Energy Networks 12
9 South Wales Western Power Distribution 21
10 East England EDF Energy Networks 10
11 South East England EDF Energy Networks 19
12 Southern England Southern Electric Power Distribution 20
13 South West England Western Power Distribution 22
14 North Wales, Merseyside and Cheshire Scottish Power Energy Networks 13
Map of DNO licence areas

In addition to the distribution network operators noted above who are licenced for a specific geographic area there are also independent distribution network operators (IDNO). IDNOs own and operate electricity distribution networks which will predominately be network extensions connected to the existing distribution network, e.g. to serve new housing developments. Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution also provide distribution services in South Scotland as an IDNO and Southern Electric Power Distribution provide IDNO services in all other England and Wales areas. There are four IDNOs with no "base" area and these are detailed in the table below:

ID Name Licensee MPAS Operator ID
24 Envoy Independent Power Networks IPNL
25 ESP Electricity ESP Electricity LENG
26 Energetics Global Utilities Connections (Electric) Ltd GUCL
27 GTC The Electricity Network Company Ltd ETCL


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