How the electricity network operates

The electricity network operates in a similar way to France’s road infrastructure, with motorways, A-roads, B-roads, local roads, etc. In this way, the electricity network is able to service the entire country. The electricity network is managed by 2 operators: RTE for long-distance electricity transmission, and Enedisfor distribution to consumers

Electricity generated by power stations is first transmitted over long distances using high and very high voltage lines (HTB) managed by RTE (Réseau de Transport d’Électricité). It is then transformed into medium voltage electricity (usually 20,000 volts) for distribution through the Enedis distribution network. This transformation takes place in substations

Once in the distribution network, medium voltage electricity is supplied directly to industrial customers. For other customers, (private consumers, businesses, etc.) it is converted into low voltage electricity in transmission substations before delivery.

The quality of electricity that users receive depends ultimately on the quality of the whole system through which the electricity is carried.

The electricity network managed by Enedis, in figures
  • 1,3 million kilometres of lines,
  • 751 000 medium voltage / low voltage transformation substations
  • 232 636 production sites linked to the network
  • 2,240 Enedis substations (interfaces with the transmission network managed and used by RTE)
  • 35 million customers served