Data on homes near power lines in the UK

Numbers of homes near National Grid lines

Information on numbers of homes near National Grid overhead lines (275 kV and 400 kV) is available from a number of sources. National Grid has performed analyses for all England and Wales homes based on postcodes and augmented by data on individual addresses and from aerial photography for the closer properties. The UKCCS has published data on its subjects and estimates have appeared as part of other epidemiological studies. Fortunately all the answers seem fairly similar whether based on postcodes, addresses, or children, and as the number presumably increases over time, approximate answers are all that can be expected anyway. The best estimates available are given in the graph.

graph showing numbers of homes near power lines
Numbers of homes near National Grid overhead lines in England and Wales.

Numbers for some of the key distances are given in this table:

Distance from centreline
Number of homes
% of total homes in England and Wales
Building oversailed by conductors
1,700
0.007
50 m
17,000
0.07
100 m
46,000
0.2
200 m
139,000
0.63
500 m
600,000
2.7

 

Numbers of homes near lower-voltage lines

No comparably reliable statistics exist on numbers of homes near electricity lines at lower voltages. Two different pieces of work have estimated that there is roughly three times the housing density near 132 kV lines as near 275 kV and 400 kV lines. There are roughly two times the length of these lines, giving, on not terribly reliable data, six times as many homes near 132 kV lines as near National Grid lines. Little if anything is known about homes near even lower-voltage lines (e.g. 33 kV, 11 kV).

Values of homes

There is some evidence that homes near lines may be slightly less valuable than the average for the country as a whole. In summer 2003, according to the property website Hometrack, the average value of homes in a random sample of postcodes within 50 m of National Grid lines was £115k. On this basis, the value of residential property within 50 m of National Grid lines would be £2bn.  That will have increased in the intervening years!

Socioeconomic status

There is some evidence that the homes closest to power lines have a higher socioeconomic status.