How it works

Everything we do involves the use of energy, from making toast to driving a car. Energy gives the power to make something work and comes in various forms. While many of us use and depend on energy every day, we have also grown so accustomed to it that we don’t really understand how it works. Well, energy plays a large role in most of our activities, and in our day-to-day lives, exists mainly in the form of electricity. Of course, this electricity has to first originate and travel from some kind of source

This is where electricity generation comes in. Electricity can be created from multiple sources. When it is created from fossil fuels, it happens in power plants that take the chemical energy stored in coal, natural gas, etc. and turn it into electrical energy. Electricity can also be generated from renewable resources like solar, wind or water (hydro). Once generated, through a series of steps, the electricity eventually reaches you, the end user. Whether you’re aware of it or not, energy, and more specifically electricity, has a big impact on your lifestyle, costs, and surrounding environment.

How Electricity is Delivered

Electricity moves from the point of generation to the point of ultimate consumption through aninterconnected network known as the electrical grid, which consists of three separate parts:

  • Generation – the production of electricity by power plants
  • Transmission – the movement of electricity from the point of origin to a distribution system
  • Distribution – the delivery of electricity to customers’ homes or businesses by utility companies

Once, the electricity is generated it arrives at an initial transformer. A transformer converts alternating current from one voltage to another and can be designed to “step up” the voltage or “step down.” In preparation for transmission over long distances, the transformer steps up the voltage. Afterwards, transmission lines carry the high-voltage electricity before arriving at a neighborhood transformer, which steps down the voltage. Smaller distribution lines then carry the electricity to households, where transformers on the poles step down electricity once more before it is able to enter your home or business.