How electricity gets to you

path of electricity from distribution lines to home

The electric grid is considered one of the most complex machines in the world, delivering the electricity we need for everyday life.

Click through the tabs below to follow the path electricity takes from generation to your home or business.

Here's how electricity gets to you


Power plants generate electricity using a variety of energy sources, like solar, hydroelectric, nuclear, and wind energy.

Illustration of hydroelectric dam, solar panels, and wind turbines

Step-up Transformer

A step-up transformer increases the voltage to push electricity over long distances.

step-up transformer

Transmission Lines

High-voltage electricity travels over long distances through these lines.

high-voltage transmission lines

Transmission Substation

Voltage is lowered at a transmission substation so electricity can travel across the local distribution system.

transmission substation

Distribution Substation

These substations lower the voltage again so the electricity is ready to travel on distribution lines.

distribution substation

Distribution Lines

Lower-voltage electricity travels through distribution lines, like the ones you typically see on the side of the road.

distribution lines

Final Stop

A transformer located on the ground or utility pole reduces the voltage a final time, then electricity is sent inside your home, school, or business.

transformer and home

Created with graphic resources provided by the National Rural Electric Cooperative’s Association (NRECA)

Sharilyn Fairweather

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