In the past homes or businesses could only consume electricity.
Electricity was generated at large, centralised power plants and distributed to consumers who paid their energy retailer for the power they used.
- Centralised power plants were usually powered by heavily polluting fuels, such as coal.
- During outages on the network, such as those caused by fallen trees, premises suffered blackouts until the outage was fixed.
- On-site power generation options were limited, unreliable, dirty, prohibitively expensive, and any surplus energy generated was wasted.