Advertisement

Commercial Expansion and the Power Load

  • Leslie Hannah

Abstract

The financial success of the Central Electricity Board was contingent upon a rapid and sustained expansion in the sales of electricity, since the benefits of concentrating generation on the more efficient stations were, by themselves, insufficient to justify the expensive investment in the Grid schemes. For financial viability it was necessary for sales of electricity to grow sufficiently to load up the spare capacity, which had formerly been necessary for isolated operations but could by the mid-1930s be brought into fuller productive use because of the lower safety margins required under Grid operation. In the longer run, also, the Grid could meet any additions to load more cheaply because of the economies of large-scale investment which it facilitated. In the confidential memoranda which the Board propared for each regional Grid scheme, therefore, projections of the growth of sales in each area played a crucial part in the Board’s financial planning of the Grid tariffs.1 During the deepening industrial depression of 1929–32 the Board were particularly worried that they might fall short of financial targets because of the failure of the load to grow with sufficient rapidity; and CEB officers were continuously involved in discussions of methods of promoting the growth of load with the officers of the major supply undertakings in each regional Grid scheme, and with the undertakings collectively in the National Consultative Committee.

Keywords

Power Load Public Supply Railway Company Supply Industry Central Electricity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes on the Text

  1. 7.
    F. W. Purse, in discussion of E. H. E. Woodward and W. A. Carne, ‘An Analysis of the Costs of Electricity Supply and its Application in Relation to Various Types of Consumers’, JIEE, vol. 71 (1932) p. 894.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    E.g. C. Barman, ‘Nothing to be Ashamed Of, Architectural Review, November 1933;Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    A. Wilson, ‘The Strategy of Sales Expansion in the British Electricity Supply Industry between the Wars’, in L. Hannah (ed.), Management Strategy and Business Development (1976).Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    C. T. Melling, ‘Commercial Development of Electricity Supply as a Consumer Service’, JIEE, vol. 94, part I (1947) p. 562.Google Scholar
  5. 15.
    British Electrical and Allied Manufacturers’ Association, The Electrical Industry in Great Britain (1929) p. 152.Google Scholar
  6. 18.
    E.g. J. M. Kennedy and D. M. Noakes, ‘An Analysis of the Costs of Electricity Supply and Distribution in Great Britain, with some Suggestions as to the Cause of and Remedies for the Slow Rate of Development’, JIEE, vol. 73 (1933) pp. 103–4;Google Scholar
  7. see e.g. J. A. Sumner, ‘Modern Factors affecting Electricity Costs and Charges’, JIEE, vol. 18 (1937) p. 435;Google Scholar
  8. D. J. Bolton, ‘Electricity Demand and Price’, JIEE, vol. 82 (1938).Google Scholar
  9. 20.
    see e.g. R. P. Sloan, ‘Development in the Uses of Electricity’, Transactions of the North East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders, vol. 45 (1929) p. 371.Google Scholar
  10. 21.
    H. S. Houthakker, ‘Some Calculations on Electricity Consumption in Great Britain’, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society vol. 114 (1951).Google Scholar
  11. see L. D. Taylor, ‘The Demand for Electricity: A Survey’, Bell Journal of Economics, vol. 6 (1975).Google Scholar
  12. 26.
    Calculated from data in C. H. Feinstein, National Income, Expenditure and Output of the United Kingdom, 1855–1965, (Cambridge, 1972) pp. T25, T66–7.Google Scholar
  13. 27.
    E.g. D. J. Bolton (‘Electricity Demand and Price’, JIEE, vol. 82 (1938) p. 195).Google Scholar
  14. 31.
    F. H. Dennis, Electricity — Public or Private Monopoly? (1945) p. 143.Google Scholar
  15. 32.
    E.g. Tucker, ‘Memorandum on Electricity Prices’, 10 October 1933, in POWE 13/62.Google Scholar
  16. 36.
    Modern general equilibrium notions can be traced back to H. Hotelling, ‘The General Welfare in Relation to Problems of Taxation and Railway and Utility Rates’, Econometrica, vol. 6 (1938) and beyond.Google Scholar
  17. 37.
    See, generally, M. V. Posner, Fuel Policy: A Study in Applied Economics, (1973).Google Scholar
  18. 38.
    see e.g. H. Hobson in JIEE, vol. 71 (1932) p. 894.Google Scholar
  19. 40.
    E.g. P. Schiller, ‘Towards the “Correct” Domestic Multi-Part Tariff’, JIEE, vol. 90, part 1 (1943) p. 328.Google Scholar
  20. 41.
    See, especially, A. Young, ‘Increasing Returns and Economic Progress’, Economic Journal, vol. 38 (1928).Google Scholar
  21. 42.
    E.g. J. R. Blaike, ‘Notes on the Possibilities of Quantity or “Albu” Tariffs’, IMEA Journal, vol. 16 (January 1935) p. 15;Google Scholar
  22. 43.
    See e.g. H. C. Kidd, A New Era for British Railways (1929), for an account of the suspicion aroused by Geddes.Google Scholar
  23. 44.
    Ministry of Transport, Report of the Electrification of Railways Advisory Committee (1920).Google Scholar
  24. 46.
    See, generally, B. K. Cooper, Electric Railways (1965).Google Scholar
  25. 49.
    E.g. R. A. S. Hennessey, The Electric Railway that Never Was: YorkNewcastle 1919 (Newcastle upon Tyne, 1970).Google Scholar
  26. 54.
    Sir Herbert Walker, ‘Railway Electrification: Deduction from a Practical Experience’, Financial News Electricity Supplement, 25 March 1935, p. 26;Google Scholar
  27. 63.
    See, generally, H. P. White, Regional History of Great Britain’s Railways: Southern England, vol. 2 (3rd edition, 1969);Google Scholar
  28. G. T. Mordey, Southern Electric: The History of the World’s Largest Suburban Electrification (1957);Google Scholar
  29. C. F. Klapper, Sir Herbert Walker’s Southern Railway (1973);Google Scholar
  30. E. Cox, ‘The Progress of Southern Railway Electrification’, Journal of the Institute of Transport, vol. 18 (1937).Google Scholar
  31. 64.
    See e.g. D. H. Aldcroft, ‘Innovation on the Railways: The Lag in Diesel and Electric Traction’, Journal of Transport Economics and Policy (1969),Google Scholar
  32. 65.
    See, generally, T. C. Barker and M. Robbins, History of London Transport (2 vols, 1963 and 1974).Google Scholar
  33. 67.
    J. H. Carsdale, ‘The Economics of Railway Electrification’, Railway Gazette, Electric Traction Supplement, 18 August 1939.Google Scholar
  34. 68.
    O. S. Nock, History of the Great Western Railway 1923–48, vol. 3 (1967) pp. 153–6.Google Scholar
  35. 71.
    J. P. McKay, Tramways and Trolleys: The Rise of Urban Mass Transport in Europe (Princeton, 1975) p. 217;Google Scholar
  36. 73.
    See, generally, W. H. Bett and J. C. Gillham, Great British Tramway Networks (3rd edition, 1957);Google Scholar
  37. C. Klapper, The Golden Age of Tramways (2nd edition, 1974).Google Scholar
  38. 74.
    G. Walker, Road and Rail (1947) p. 3.Google Scholar
  39. See, generally, H. Brearley, The Development of the Trolley Bus (1957);Google Scholar
  40. J. Joyce, Trolleybus Trails (1963);Google Scholar
  41. N. Owen, History of the British Trolleybus (1973).Google Scholar
  42. 78.
    E.g. J. Mould, ‘Report to Leicester Electricity Committee’ (privately published, 1934);Google Scholar
  43. R. A. Bishop, The Electric Trolleybus for Transport Managers (1931);Google Scholar
  44. C. J. Spencer, ‘Electric Trolley Omnibuses’, Journal of the Institute of Transport, vol. 14 (1933).Google Scholar
  45. 80.
    see e.g. I. C. R. Byatt, ‘The British Electrical Industry 1875–1914’, unpublished Oxford DPhil thesis, 1962 (for 1907, 1912, 1924);Google Scholar
  46. idem, Thirteenth Annual Report 1932/3, pp. 194–9, (for 1924, 1930);Google Scholar
  47. idem, Eighteenth Annual Report 1937/8, pp. 124–8 (for 1930, 1935);Google Scholar
  48. A. O. Johnson and C. P. Holder, ‘Electricity Supplies for Industry’, Proceedings of the British Electric Power Convention 1953 (for 1935, 1948).Google Scholar
  49. 81.
    see e.g. S. B. Saul (ed.), Technological Change: The United States and Britain in the Nineteenth Century (1970).Google Scholar
  50. 82.
    cf the estimates of the proportion of power applied electrically in the sources for Britain listed in n80, and for the USA in US Department of Commerce, Historical Statistics of the United States, 1950, chapter s.Google Scholar
  51. 83.
    K. Edgcumbe, inaugural address, JIEE, vol. 67 (1929) p. 10.Google Scholar
  52. 84.
    E.g. R. A. Brady, The Rationalization Movement in German Industry (California, 1933) pp. 198–9,Google Scholar
  53. 85.
    E.g. H. H. Sennett, ‘Electricity in the Engineering Industry’, chairman’s address, Hampshire Sub-Centre, JIEE, vol. 89, part 1 (1942) pp. 196–7.Google Scholar
  54. 88.
    Electrical Development Association, Industrial Electric Heating Sales Handbook (1932) p. 5, EDA 996.Google Scholar
  55. On industrial heating, generally, see e.g. J. W. Beauchamp and S. M. Hills, Industrial Electric Heating by Electricity (EDA, 1920)Google Scholar
  56. 89.
    H. A. Sieveking, ‘Electrically Manufactured Steels’, JIEE, vol. 86 (1940).Google Scholar
  57. 90.
    H. Quigley, Electrical Power and National Progress (1925) pp. 61–4.Google Scholar
  58. 92.
    C. P. Sparks, ‘Electricity Applied to Mining’, JIEE, vol. 53, (1915);Google Scholar
  59. 94.
    W. E. Swale, Forerunners of the North Western Electricity Board (Manchester 1963) p. 71.Google Scholar
  60. 104.
    E. H. E. Woodward and W. A. Carne, ‘An Analysis of the Costs of Electricity Supply and its Application in Relation to various types of Consumers’, JIEE, vol. 71 (1932).Google Scholar
  61. 105.
    Electricity Commissioners, Engineering and Financial Statistics; CEB, ‘North East England Scheme. Memoranda on the Grid Tariff’, (privately printed, 1937).Google Scholar
  62. 106.
    D. J. Bolton, Costs and Tariffs in Electricity Supply (1938) chapter 9;Google Scholar
  63. 111.
    see e.g. A. D. Chandler, The Visible Hand (Cambridge, Mass., 1977).Google Scholar
  64. H. C. Fraser, Chairman’s address, North Midlands Centre, JIEE, vol. 78 (1936) pp. 44–8;Google Scholar
  65. H. Manley Roberts, ‘The Grid and the Industrial Load’, JIEE, vol. 78 (1936) pp. 40–3.Google Scholar
  66. 121.
    Political and Economic Planning, Report on the Gas Industry, (1939) p. 50;Google Scholar
  67. Electrical Development Association, Street Lighting by Electricity (1933)Google Scholar
  68. 123.
    Electrical Development Association, Warming Buildings by Electricity (1933) EDA 1183.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Electricity Council 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie Hannah
    • 1
  1. 1.Emmanuel CollegeCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations