East Midlands Electricity
|Private (after 1990)|
|Fate||Bought by Powergen|
|Successor||Central Networks East|
|Parent||(Powergen from 1998)|
The East Midlands Electricity Board (or EMEB) was formed in 1947, one of the 12 area electricity boards specified under the Electricity Act 1947.
It covered a large area: from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, to Newport Pagnell (near modern-day Milton Keynes), in Buckinghamshire, and from Coventry in the West to Skegness in the east. Its head office was on Coppice Road in Arnold, Nottinghamshire.
It was required to supply electricity to homes, and businesses, as regulated by the Act, and under terms of reference from the Electricity Council, and the CEGB. In many towns, the board opened showrooms, to provide customer service facilities (such as paying bills), as well as demonstrating, and supplying the latest electrical goods to customers.
The post-war period was one of incredible growth for the electricity industry. The pre-war National Grid system was vastly expanded, and many new power stations were opened, across the region. One major customer was British Rail. When the West Coast Main Line was electrified in the 1960s, and the East Coast Main Line in the 1980s, the electricity boards were required to supply the lines passing through their territory with electricity supplied direct from the National Grid.
In 1987, the Conservatives' election manifesto committed the party to further privatisation of nationalised industries, and the electricity industry was to be one of these. In March 1990, the board became East Midlands Electricity plc, a new 'regional electricity company'. In December 1990 it floated on the stock market. Although operations continued as usual for a few years, the business began to be separated, and broken up. The electricity showroom and sales business merged with those of other companies into the Powerhouse chain, in 1994/5. In November 1995, the company split into three divisions of distribution, metering and supply. In 1996, the company was bought by Dominion Resources for £1.3bn in December 1996. In September 1998, EME's distribution, and supply business was bought by Powergen for £1.9bn, ensuring the business remained vertically integrated. The EME-brand was not replaced until 1999, although the distribution business continued under the EME brand until it merged with Central Networks in 2004.