Plant to Plug

The electricity we use at our homes and places of business is produced or generated in power plants. No matter which type of plant the electricity is produced in it still follows a similar path to your home or business. Traveling at the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles per second, electricity follows this path:

Power plants Electrical energy is produced.
High-voltage transmission/trunk lines Supplies electricity to substations from power plants. (161,000 and 69,000 volts)
Substations Receives electricity from transmission lines. Large transformers located at substations reduce electric voltage to approximately 13,000 volts.
Distribution/3-phase lines Provides electricity to commercial and industrial customers, as well as supplies electricity to single-phase lines.
Single phase/tap lines Generally operates at 7,200 volts. Supplies electricity to residential areas.
Transformer Steps down voltage to a manageable level for residential homes.
Electric meter Electricity passes through an electric meter. The meter measures energy usage in kWhs.
Main breaker Large disconnect switch in circuit breakers or fuse boxes.
Circuit breakers or fuse box Disconnect for each of the switches or outlets.
Switch or outlet Receptacle in the wall that appliances are plugged into.
Plug from appliance End of electrical cord.
Appliance Various.