How Does Electricity Get To Our Homes?
Electricity is basically the movement of electric charge. With the best-known form being the flow of electrons through conductors like copper wires. It’s widely used for providing power to electric devices, buildings, and cars. So, how does electricity get to our homes? Find out more here…
The Electricity Journey
The foundations of electricity are at powers stations. These vast plants are often located near natural gas plants, solar and wind farms, or hydroelectricity dams – all producing electricity.
The types of components needed for the generation process include a boiler, furnace, turbine, cooling towers and generators. And these are determined by the type of fuel source such as solar, wind, coal, or nuclear energy input.
As soon as the electricity is generated it leaves the power station through the main electric cable supply – overhead lines to large substations. These play an important role in the transmission process by using transformers that are able to increase or decrease the voltage of electric currents.
The flow of electricity from substations through lower voltage transmission lines is called distribution. At the second substation transformer point, the voltage is reduced again – making it safe for it to enter your home. This is when the electricity is considered to have reached the distribution network and exited the transmission phase.
Powerlines of Distribution
On the way to its final destination, the electricity leaves the substation transformer. Overhead electric cables to your house are one option of distribution – or it may be distributed underground. The final reduction of voltage takes place within a small pole-top transformer ensuring safety for homes and businesses alike.
Connecting to Your Home
The electric current flows to your home where it passes through a meter. This measures the amount of electricity you actually use. The flow of electric current travels through wires inside the walls of your house to the outlets and switches in preparation for powering your devices.
Your electricity flows in a closed circle called a circuit – this is the path through which electricity flows. So, when you turn on a light switch you close the circuit and the electricity flows through the light and back into the wire. When you switch the light off you open the circuit preventing the electricity from flowing.
Energy Saving Tips
Look at a range of tips to help you cut the cost of your electricity bills and become more energy-efficient:
- Take a shower – this can save you money particularly if you have an eco-version installed
- Wash at 30 degrees – use an eco-wash setting and wait until you’ve got a full load
- Reduce tumble drying – hang clothes out on the line weather permitting
- Use energy-saving light bulbs – they can cut energy usage by up to 20%
- Turn down the thermostat – one degree can save you around £75 a year
- Monitor energy use – have a Smart meter fitted to keep control of your energy usage
Electrical Safety Guide
You shouldn’t take the electricity used to power your devices for granted. Electric shocks can be fatal. Follow these rules to stay safe:
- Don’t overload sockets or outlets – this can damage the electrical system and have the potential to cause fires
- Put safety caps on all unused outlets – this also helps save energy by preventing cold draughts
- Avoid pulling on electrical cords – this can result in damage to the plug, socket, and appliance
- Secure excess electrical wiring – keep wires tucked away to avoid tripping and prevent harm to pets from chewing
- Keep electrics away from water – this is a real potential for accidents including electrocution
- Exposed wiring is dangerous – repair or replace any damaged power cords immediately
- Don’t fly kites near power lines – the string may conduct electricity sending it through you to the ground
- Watch out for power lines when using outdoor equipment – ladders can bring you dangerously close to them
- Look for power lines between tree branches – using a chainsaw could be fatal
Call an Emergency Electrician
If you’ve got problems with your electricity at home simply call professional emergency electricians near you. You’ll get a response day or night. And be able to request an upfront quote. Your qualified electrician will be with you within the hour – with all the tools needed to get the job done. Electricians with years of industry experience will quickly diagnose and resolve all of your electrical issues.