Standardisation of Electricity Supply


    IN a paper read on May 31 to a meeting of the Incorporated Municipal Electrical Association (the I.M.E.A.), which was held in Liverpool, L. Romero discussed the standardisation of methods for distributing electricity and for its sale. He recently addressed a questionnaire to sixty of the largest municipal supply undertakings in Great Britain, and nearly all had replied explaining the systems they used and in particular the voltages which they adopted to supply their consumers. It was decided officially some years ago that the standard system of supply should be the alternating current system and that the standard pressure for domestic supply should be 230 volts. The replies received show that about a third of the municipal undertakings are maintaining voltages which are not standard and that the number of consumers using these voltages is rapidly increasing. The reason given for not adopting the standard is that the change would be expensive. This is a short-sighted policy, as it causes expense to consumers and is a definite obstacle in the way of cheapening electrical lamps and appliances. Several countries abroad also suffer from this lack of standardisation. Luckily, in Great Britain, the progress made in changing from B.C. to A.C. supply is much more satisfactory. Many people think that the supply of electricity should be managed on a national basis, their principal argument being the lack of standardisation that otherwise ensues. Presumably local authorities desire to manage their own electricity supply. Some of them would therefore do well to regard standardisation from a broader point of view.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    Standardisation of Electricity Supply. Nature 134, 58 (1934).

    Download citation


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.