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How Do We Access Electricity?

It's always there at the flick of a switch but electricity has a long way to travel to reach your home!

Accessing power from our power points is easy. Just plug something in! But electricity has a long way to travel from the power station to your power point. Electricity, which can be generated in all sorts of ways such as water, steam, gas and wind, is produced at power stations by electricity generators.

Generators have magnets and wires that spin very closely to each other. A thick coil of wire spins around inside giant magnets at the station, moving electrons in the wire and causing them to jump from atom to atom. Electrons ‘jumping' is what we call electricity.

Power stations send electricity through power lines. Large transmission wires on high pylons carry electricity to places called substations.

Substations contain equipment that lowers electricity's voltage for delivery through smaller power lines that travel down our streets and through our neighbourhoods. Many of these are overhead power lines but some lines are buried underground.

Transformers on poles and on the ground reduce the voltage further before the electricity travels to homes and businesses. Service pillars do the same thing and will often be seen on the grass area outside your home or next to the footpath.

Electricity travels from the network in the street into homes and buildings through wires called service lines. Service lines usually terminate near the roof at the front of a building.

A meter box on the side of your home or on a building measures how much electricity is being used. It connects to all the wires that run inside the walls of a building to power points and switches.

Let's take a look at the path electricity takes from a power station to your home:

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