How Electricity Gets To Your Home

Electrical Equipment 101

meterWhether stemming from hydro, coal, nuclear, wind or solar, it’s a long journey from the source of power
generation to your home.

Along the way, a host of devices and equipment harmonize to ensure your lights come on with the flip of a switch.

Electricity is made at a station by large generators. The current is sent through transformers to increase the voltage and transport power long distances.

Here’s how electricity makes its way to you:

  • The electrical charge goes through high-voltage transmission lines that stretch across the country.
  • The power reaches a substation where the voltage is lowered so it can be sent on smaller power lines.
  • Power travels through distribution lines to your neighborhood. Smaller transformers reduce the voltage again to make the power safe to use in our homes.
  • It connects to your house and passes through a meter that measures how much power your family uses.
  • The electricity flows to the service panel where breakers or fuses protect the wires inside your house from being overloaded.
  • Power travels through wires inside the walls to the outlets and switches throughout your house.

An electric meter measures your connection to the electric grid, tracking how much power your home uses over time. That measurement is made in kilowatt-hours, which is the electrical energy equivalent of 1,000 watts for 1 hour.

Meters used to be analog, using numbers on gears to spin a dial and track energy use. Advances in technology have led to more efficient meters that provide a better account of use.

In addition to tracking energy consumption, Lane Electric’s meters also send energy use information back to the co-op through the power lines. This function saves the co-op time and money.

Electricity travels long distances to reach members’ homes. Transformers convert the voltage to high for long distance transport and low for consumer use. Graphic courtesy of Electricity Rates.