British Electricity Authority

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The British Electricity Authority (BEA) was established as the central British electricity authority[1] in 1948 under the nationalisation of Great Britain's electricity supply industry following the Electricity Act 1947. The Authority took over the operations of over 600 small public supply power companies, municipal authority electricity departments and the Central Electricity Board to form the BEA, which comprised a central authority and 14 area boards. The BEA was responsible for the generation, distribution and sale of electricity to users, and its duty was to develop and maintain an efficient, coordinated and economical system of electricity supply.[2] Its scope did not include control of the North of Scotland Hydro Board, which had been founded in 1943 and remained independent of the BEA.

Area boards[edit]

The new area boards were:

  1. East Midlands Electricity Board (EMEB)
  2. Eastern Electricity Board (EEB)
  3. London Electricity Board (LEB)
  4. Merseyside and North Wales Electricity Board (MANWEB)
  5. Midlands Electricity Board (MEB)
  6. North Eastern Electricity Board (NEEB)
  7. North Western Electricity Board (NORWEB)
  8. South East Scotland Electricity Board
  9. South Eastern Electricity Board (SEEBOARD)
  10. South Wales Electricity Board (SWALEC)
  11. South West Scotland Electricity Board
  12. South Western Electricity Board (SWEB)
  13. Southern Electricity Board (SEB)
  14. Yorkshire Electricity Board (YEB)


As a result of the Electricity Reorganisation (Scotland) Act 1954, the British Electricity Authority was replaced on 1 April 1955 by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for England and Wales. At the same time, the two South of Scotland Area Boards and the associated electricity generation and distribution plant were merged into the South of Scotland Electricity Board (SSEB) to form an integrated electricity board responsible for generation, distribution and electricity supply in southern and central Scotland.

Soon afterwards, the Electricity Act 1957 dissolved the Central Electricity Authority, which it replaced with the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) and the Electricity Council.[3]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Konstantin Katzarov (6 December 2012). The Theory of Nationalisation. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 213. ISBN 978-94-015-1055-4.
  2. ^ Electricity Act 1947 Section 1
  3. ^ Competition Commission (UK), Report on Electricity Supply Industry, 1987 (PDF) Archived March 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine


  • Brady, Robert A. (1950). Crisis in Britain. Plans and Achievements of the Labour Government. University of California Press., on nationalization 1945-50, pp 132-82
  • Hannah, Leslie (1979). Electricity before Nationalisation: A Study of the Development of the Electricity Supply Industry in Britain to 1948. London & Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press Ltd. ISBN 0-333-22086-2.
  • Hannah, Leslie (1982). Engineers, Managers, and Politicians: The First Fifteen years of Nationalised Electricity in Britain. London & Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press Ltd. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. (Johns Hopkins UP: ISBN 0-8018-2862-7)

External links[edit]