Energy and Utilities

What's it all about?

Everything we do relies on using energy.From turning on a tap, boiling a kettle, keeping the lights on, and driving to work all rely on using energy.  Being part of the energy and utilities sector means that you’re helping people to live their lives. The industry offers an extraordinary variety of careers, especially as we move away from relying on fossil fuels and the industry is developing greener energy and technology instead.

To find out more about the industry go to Energy UK .

The National Grid has interesting films which explain how they connect homes and businesses to the energy they use. Their high-voltage electricity and high-pressure gas transmission systems deliver power across Great Britain. Once the energy enters their network, their job is to fine-tune the system to make sure supply and demand match second by second. Find out more about the careers they offer too.

There are four main energy and utilities industries.

Electricity industry

The electricity industry connects the sources that create energy (generation) to homes and businesses by sending it through transmission and distribution networks. Electricity is sold to consumers by companies who have bought it from the generators and pay to use the networks across which it is transmitted.

Generation is the production of electricity from fossil fuel like coal and nuclear power stations, as well as renewable sources such as wind and solar. 

Transmission is the transfer of electrical energy from a power plant to electrical substations, usually via pylons.

Distribution is the transfer from these substations into our homes, places of work etc.

We use this energy to heat us, cool us and power all our appliances and gadgets!

Gas industry

There are four main elements of the gas industry:

Production and importation – most of our gas comes from offshore fields in the North and Irish seas or is imported via pipelines from Europe.

Transmission – National Grid operates the gas transmission infrastructure in the UK.

Distribution – at points across the UK gas is then transported in the distribution networks for final delivery to consumers.

Supply –delivered to most consumers’ premises through a pipe belonging to the local distribution network

Oil industry

Technically the oil industry falls under science based activity but for information the UK Petroleum Industry is made up of over 200 companies involved in the refining, distribution and marketing of petroleum products. You will find more information here

Water industry

The water industry helps deliver water to homes and industry across the country. This can involve services such as storage, through reservoirs, etc, purification, sewage treatment, filtering, distillation and plumbing.

Compare jobs you like and see if they are predicted to grow

To find out what you will earn in different jobs (you can put in up to three) and see other facts including whether this job is predicted to grow in the UK, use the Careerometer which is on the left of each Job Sector page (yellow box).

Is this a predicted growth area in the South of England?

The Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have been asked to predict which job sectors will grow. This information could help you develop your skills and gain qualifications for specific job roles, sectors or particular places where there are likely to be opportunities. No growth doesn't mean there are no jobs but growth does mean there are likely to be more jobs!

Areas for growth include a mix of renewables and clean energy, both on and off-shore.

Oxford and Thames Valley - no specific predictions or priorities from the local LEPs regarding this sector.

Solent - Marine and Maritime priority sectors include emerging sectors and technologies, such as offshore wind and tidal energy.

South West - Local Enterprise Partnerships across the South West identify low carbon and renewables as growth areas. The new nuclear power station at Hinckley Point will provide jobs for many years to come and there are a number of low carbon projects across the South West – solar, wind and marine.

Find out more about growth industries in the South of England.

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