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Central Electricity Board

In 1925 Lord Weir chaired a committee that proposed the creation of the Central Electricity Board (CEB) to link the UK’s most efficient power stations with consumers via a ‘national gridiron’.

The United Kingdom Central Electricity Board was set up under The Electricity (Supply) Act 1926 to standardise the nation's electricity supply. At that time, the industry consisted of more than 600 electricity supply companies and local authority undertakings, and different areas operated at different voltages and frequencies (including DC in some places). The board's first chairman was Andrew Duncan.

The CEB established the UK's first synchronised AC grid, running at 132 kilovolts and 50 Hertz, which by 1933 was a collection of local grids, with emergency interlinks, covering most of England. This started operating as a national system, the National Grid, in 1938. The CEB ceased to exist when the grid was nationalised by the Electricity Act 1947 and taken over by the British Electricity Authority.

The CEB coexisted with the Electricity Commissioners, an industry regulator responsible to the Ministry of Transport.


  • Hannah, Leslie (1979). Electricity Before Nationalisation, A Study in the Development of the Electricity Supply Industry in Britain to 1948. London & Basingstoke: Macmillan Publishers for the Electricity Council. ISBN 0-8018-2145-2.
  • "The electricity supply industry and the Central Electricity Generating Board" (PDF). UK Competition Commission. 1987. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2005-05-20.

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