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How Does Electricity Reach Our Home?

Learn how Australia supplies electricity to home appliances. Discover the process of generating home electricity via the grid to keep the nation powered up.

How Does Electricity Reach Our Home?

Published on 21/03/2024

By William Walton

Energy Comparison

Most of our daily routines involve electricity in some way, shape, or form, from switching the lights on to reheating food. All these activities need an essential energy source, and it has a long distance to travel before electricity reaches our home. So how exactly does home electricity get delivered? 

Australia’s Electricity Grid: Delivering Electricity to Homes

The electricity grid is a connected network for delivering electricity to home appliances, from producers to consumers. It consists of transmission and distribution networks. These networks allow the transportation of electricity across distances to every home. 

Based on the National Electricity Market, there are more than 40,000 km of transmission lines and cables around the country.   

Australia's electricity grid, extending approximately 4,500 km across the eastern and southern states, stands out for its efficiency in transmission and distribution. Some regions, such as Western Australia (WA), the Northern Territory (NT), and localised areas like Mount Isa in Queensland, operate their independent networks for home electricity. 

Check - Energy Sucker Home Appliances 

This extensive network is characterised by relatively low transmission and distribution losses, which indicates its efficiency in providing electricity to home appliances. Compared to some countries where losses can be significantly higher, Australia's electrical grid demonstrates an efficient system with losses of around 5%. This figure aligns with that of more developed countries, showcasing the effectiveness of Australia's infrastructure in minimising energy wastage during transmission and distribution. 

Understanding that these losses represent the energy lost as electricity travels from power plants to end-users is crucial. A lower percentage of loss signifies a more efficient grid, meaning that a more significant portion of the generated electricity is utilised by consumers for home electricity, thus reflecting on the grid's overall efficiency and reliability. 

How Australia Transports Electricity to Home Appliances 

As home electricity travels from its source to your street, it’s transported via different infrastructure. Some of these touchpoints as we follow the voyage of electricity to home appliances include:  

  1. POWER STATIONS - The first stage of energy generation takes place in power stations. Power stations are typically located near energy sources such as wind farms, hydroelectric dams, and natural gas plants. Electricity is generated through a furnace, boiler, turbine, cooling towers, and generators. 
  2. FIRST SUBSTATIONS - Electricity generated in a power station makes its way to the first substations. Substations are often located near power stations. It has an essential role in the electricity transmission process. At this stage, the electricity voltage can be at 25,000 or higher, which can be done using transformers. Increasing the voltage is essential to avoid losing too much power during the transmission of electricity to home outlets. 
  3. TRANSMISSION NETWORKS - Transmission networks help deliver electricity to end users such as houses and businesses. It is usually made up of metal towers designed for extreme-high voltages. It is insulated to prevent electric shock when it touches the ground. At this stage, electricity remains at a high voltage. 
  4. SECOND SUBSTATIONS - The electricity voltage is reduced using a transformer at the second substation. This process makes home electricity safer for consumers to use. It also prepares power to reach the distribution network. In rural areas, the substation reduces voltage to around 33,000 volts; in urban areas, it ranges from around 11,000 to 33,000 volts. 
  5. DISTRIBUTION POWER LINES - When the electricity leaves the second substation, it goes to distribution networks. Power lines distribute electricity to its final destinations, such as households and offices. These lines and cables are usually overhead or underground. Electricity enters a small transformer from the second substation for final voltage reduction. This is important to ensure home electricity is safe to use.  
  6. OUR HOME - Electricity reaches our home, gets divided into circuits, and is distributed to the entire house. Then, electricity moves through wires to power outlets and switches. Electric and gas meters are installed to record a consumer's total home electricity usage. 

Retailers Providing Electricity to Home Outlets 

Technically, an electricity retailer is not part of the electricity generation process. However, it plays an essential role in the energy market. Retailers buy electricity from distributors and resell it to businesses and households. Electricity retailers are responsible for billing.  Also, it’s part of their job to maintain the consumer’s account. 

Switching electricity retailers can lead to significant savings and more tailored energy solutions for consumers. By comparing various plans, consumers can find options that best fit their usage patterns and budget. Additionally, some retailers offer renewable energy plans, allowing consumers to support green energy initiatives. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your electricity plan ensures you're not overpaying for services and taking advantage of the best deals in the constantly evolving energy market. 

As a consumer, it is a good idea to shop around regularly. Switch retailers to enjoy the most competitive energy plans. 

Let Econnex do the work for you and start saving money today. 

Energy Comparison
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