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admin August 9, 2012


In this section of our site, we have included a wide range of industry information and resources in regards to the UK energy industry.

  • Electricity – like most other commodities – is sold by the unit.  But what precisely is a kilowatt? And what’s the difference between a kilowatt, a megawatt and a gigawatt?
  • Kilowatt – The kilowatt (kW) is the standard metric measure of electrical power and is equivalent to 1,000 watts.  The kilowatt hour (kWh) – the actual rate of energy consumption – gives us the ‘unit’. A heater rated at 1000 watts (W), for example, running for an hour would use one kWh.  The Imperial measurement of energy, first devised by James Watt inventor of the steam engine, is horsepower. He calculated that a horse could lift 330 pounds, 100 feet in a minute. A kilowatt is the equivalent of 1.3 horsepower, roughly one hundredth the power output of an average family saloon car.
  • Megawatt – A megawatt (MW) is a million watts, or the equivalent of 1,000 kilowatts. A megawatt could power over a thousand homes.
  • Gigawatt - A gigawatt (GW) is one thousand million watts, or 1,000 megawatts, of electricity. One gigawatt translates to approximately enough electricity to meet the needs of 604,833 households, 1,451,600 people or around 1per cent of the UK energy supply.
  • The tables below show the conversion factors for converting between different units of energy and typical calorific values of fuels.  Please note that the calorific values were updated September 2008.

The following table gives the number you need to multiply by to get from a variety of different units to kWh.  The table gives the number you need to multiply by to get from a variety of different units to kWh.

  • Energy – Therm x 29.31 = kWh
  • Energy – Btu x 0.0002931 = kWh
  • Energy – MJ x 0.2778 = kWh
  • Energy – kcal x 0.001163 kWh
  • Power -  hp x 0.7457 = kW
  • Power  – Btu/h x 0.0002931 = kW

Electricity Distributors

The whole of the UK is split up into many areas where one single company the Distribution Network Operator has the license to distribute electricity in that area. 1x1.trans Resources

They effectively carry electricity from the National Grid to the exit point (each has a unique MPAN and a possibility of several meters) where the customers are. The owner of the distribution network charges electricity suppliers for carrying the electricity in their network. They regions are based geographically on the old, nationalised electricity board areas. Loss of Supply Emergency Telephone Numbers

Area 10  EDF Energy Networks: 0800 783 8838
Area 11  East Midlands Electricity: 0800 056 8090
Area 12  London Electricity: 0800 028 0247
Area 13  Manweb: 0845 272 2424
Area 14  Midlands Electricity: 08457 331331
Area 15  Northern Electric: 0800 668 877
Area 16  United Utilities: 0800 195 4141
Area 17  Scottish Hydro: 0800 300 999
Area 18  Scottish Power: 0845 272 7999
Area 19  Seeboard: 0800 783 8866
Area 20  Southern Electric: 08457 708090
Area 21  Western Power Distribution: 0800 052 0400
Area 22  SWEB: 0800 365 900
Area 23  Yorkshire Electricity: 0800 375 675

Climate Change Levy

The Climate Change Levy (CCL) is a tax on energy delivered to non-domestic users in the United Kingdom. Its aim is to provide an incentive to increase energy efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions, however there have been ongoing calls to replace it with a proper carbon tax.  Introduced on April 1st, 2001 under the Finance Act 2000 it was forecast to cut annual emissions by 2.5 million tonnes by 2010, and forms part of the UK’s Climate Change Programme. The levy applies to most energy users, with the notable exceptions of those in the domestic and transport sectors. Electricity generated from new renewables and approved cogeneration schemes is not taxed although electricity from nuclear energy is taxed even though it causes no direct carbon emissions.

Taxable Commodity

From the 1st April 2013 the Government increased the Climate Change Levy (CCL).

This means that for any energy used where CCL applies, it will be charged at the new rate.

The new CCL rates are:

  • - 0.524p/kWh for electricity
  • - 0.182p/kWh for gas

From the 1st  April customers will see the new charges for CCL on their bill for their electricity and gas consumption.   If a customer’s bill is for a period that crosses the CCL rate change, both the old and new rate will be shown and they’ll be charged the correct rate for the date the energy was used.

Further Advice

HM Revenue and Customs is responsible for publishing the active CCL rates and planed ammendments to the rates.  A general guide to Climate Change Levy is available at (click on the ‘Environmental taxes’section of ‘Excise and other’).  The CCL is added to energy bills before VAT and, although there is no legal requirement to itemise it, it often appears as a separate item on bills.

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