Distribution Network Operators (DNOs): What do they do? When and how can I contact them?

  • 19 October 2020
  • 2 replies
Distribution Network Operators (DNOs): What do they do?  When and how can I contact them?
Userlevel 7

Updated on 25/08/23 by Abby_OVO


Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) - Your Guide


The electricity distribution network is made up of 14 regions supplied by a group of regional operators called DNOs, and a few independent operators called IDNOs.

DNO responsibilities


The DNO is responsible for distributing electricity from the transmission grid to homes and businesses. They assume responsibility for ensuring constant supply to customers, and the DNO is responsible for locating and solving any outages. Equally, they're responsible for the ongoing maintenance of all their supply lines to avoid outages.

DNOs all share responsibility for operating and administering the Meter Point Administration System, (MPAS), allocating supplies (MPANs) and managing the details of each supply point. In turn, they're responsible for updating the national electricity database, ECOEs. 


Identifying and contacting your DNO


The table below shows which DNO manages each region, and how to get in touch with them. It also includes the links to the websites where they confirm power outages. You can locate your DNO by checking the first two numbers of your Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN) also known as your MPAN area ID.

MPAN Area ID Area Company Emergency No. General Enquiries No. Confirmed Outages
10 East England UK Power Networks 0800 783 8838 0800 029 4285 Click here
11 East Midlands National Grid Electricity Distribution 0800 056 8090 0800 6783 105 Click here
12 London UK Power Networks 0800 028 0247 0845 601 4516 Click here
13 North Wales, Merseyside and Cheshire Scottish Power Energy Networks 0800 001 5400 03301 010 444 Click here
14 West Midlands National Grid Electricity Distribution 0800 328 1111 0800 6783 105 Click here
15 North East England Northern Power Grid 0800 668 877 08000 113 332 Click here
16 North West England Electricity North West 0800 195 4141 0800 048 1820 Click here
17 North Scotland Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution 0800 300 999 0845 071 3954 Click here
18 South Scotland Scottish Power Energy Networks 0845 272 7999 03301 010 444 Click here
19 South East England UK Power Networks 0800 783 8866 0845 601 4516 Click here
20 Southern England Southern Electric Power Distribution 0800 072 7282 0800 048 3516 Click here
21 South Wales National Grid Electricity Distribution 0800 052 0400 0800 6783 105 Click here
22 South West England National Grid Electricity Distribution 0800 365 900 0800 6783 105 Click here
23 Yorkshire Northern Power Grid 0800 375 675 0845 602 4453 Click here



DNO map


Independent Distribution Network Operators (IDNOs)


As well as the 14 main distribution networks there are also independent distribution network operators (IDNOs). IDNOs have no geographically defined area of service but have the same job prices as the geographically closest DNO.

IDNOs predominately build network extensions on to the existing distribution network, to serve new housing developments for example. Scottish Hydro Distribution and Southern Energy distribution also provide IDNO services outside of their designated areas.


MPAN Area 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
28 EDF IDNO UK Power Networks (IDNO) Ltd EDFI




DNO equipment issues and timeframes


As your supplier, we’re responsible for replacing and maintaining your electricity meter but there are parts of your set-up which will be the responsibility of your DNO, for a full run-down of this check out the guide below:


If one of our engineers is unable to complete a meter exchange or another job due to an issue with DNO equipment, the engineer will categorise the issue (depending on the type of fault and its urgency - see the table below) and send a report (called an E88) to the DNO. The DNO will then contact you directly to arrange a visit. Once the DNO has attended, you will need to contact OVO to be re-booked for your appointment.

Category Timescale for DNO to attend
A Emergency - fix will be implemented ASAP, usually that day.
B 4-6 weeks
C 4-6 months

Unfortunately we cannot speed any of these up - as they are decided by the DNO. 



Scheduling an appointment with your DNO


If you need to book an appointment with us and the DNO for the same day (e.g. an electricity meter repositioning where the cut out also needs moving).

  1. Please book the appointment with the DNO first for a morning appointment at least 17/27 working days in advance.
  2. Once you’ve confirmed the DNO booking, we can book an appointment for the afternoon on the same day. Job costs here.
  3. You’ll receive an automatic email confirmation once the booking has been booked with us.


Got any more DNO queries not covered by the guide above? - Comment below, we’re happy to help work out if they’re the ones you need to speak to! 

2 replies

Userlevel 7
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As you can deduce from their title, the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) operates and maintains the Distribution Grid. In broad terms that’s everything below 400kV:


The most visible parts of their network are the fuse supply to your meter:

Service fuse in meter box

the above-ground conductors on poles beside the road:


and the local sub-station transformers:


If you live close to major parts of the cross-country Distribution Grid, then they may drop by periodically whilst carrying out line inspections:


Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Your regional DNO provides an online Power-cut Reporting and monitoring service.

Here are the links to the live mapping facilities for UK Power NetworksScottish & Southern Electricity (SSE) and Western Power

Here’s part of the map from Western Power this morning, 1st April



I’ve asked for an estimated resolution time for the one in the English Channel and will be following progress avidly.