Jemco2017 HowPower V8 (1)
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How Electricity Gets To You

Power plants

Power plants generate electricity and send it through a step-up transformer, which raises the voltage level and sends the electricity to transmission lines. Transmission lines are noticeable by the tall transmission towers that support them. Transmission lines carry high-voltage power to transmission substations.

Transmission substations

Transmission substations contain transformers that lower the voltage of electricity and distribute it between lower-voltage lines. A transmission substation can serve tens of thousands of customers.

Distribution substations

Distribution substations further lower the voltage of electricity and distribute the power to cities and towns through main lines, which serve hundreds of customers.


Transformers are metal and hang on poles and carry lower voltage power to clusters of homes and businesses through branch lines, or distribution lines, which are supported by wood poles. Transformers for underground service are contained inside green metal boxes with wires buried beneath the ground.

Service drop lines

Service drop lines serve single members. The voltage from a branch line is lowered through a transformer at the pole that connects to your home or business through the service drop line.