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​Our experts work hard to make sure our systems are operating at their best to deliver safe, reliable electricity. But have you ever wondered how electricity travels from one of those big generating facilities to your home or business?

Transmission refers to the electrical path running through underground or aerial wires between a generating station, where power is made, to a substation, where the power is reduced and made safe to travel to your neighbourhood. You've probably seen substations in your community; they're those buildings and attached yards filled with intricate grey machinery and giant spiral poles.

Transmission lines carry high voltages, coming in at 72,000 volts (V) or 240,000 V (and up to 500,000 V). A 4,000 V line alone can cook a hot dog within seconds, so they're dealing with serious voltage!

Transmission: From generation to city substations

Transmission refers to the electrical path running through underground or aerial wires between a generating station, where power is made, to a substation, where the power is made safe for travel to your neighbourhood. You'll see substations around the city; they're those buildings and attached yards you see filled with intricate grey machinery and giant spiral poles.

Transmission voltages are high, coming in at 72,000 volts (V) or 240,000 V (and up to 500,000 V). A 4,000 V line alone can cook a hot dog within seconds, so these transmission lines deal in serious voltages!

 

Distribution: From substations to your home or business 

Once voltages are stepped down (reduced) at a substation, electricity cruises along distribution wires and makes its way to your home or business. Distribution voltages are much lower, ranging from 120 V to 25,000 V.


Let's recap…

Transmission involves large-scale infrastructure that carries high voltages across long distances to a distribution point.

Distribution involves the system that actually connects customers, like you, to usable power through household electrical outlets.

Distribution: From city substations to your home

Once voltages are stepped down (e.g. reduced) at a substation, the electricity cruises along distribution wires and make their way to a home or business. Distribution voltages are much lower, ranging from 120 V to 25,000 V.


Let's recap…

Transmission involves large-scale infrastructure that carries high voltages across long distances to a distribution point. Think about those larger transmission towers that run along the Anthony Henday.

Distribution involves the system that actually connects customers, like you, to usable power through household electrical outlets.

Safety first

The electrical equipment in a substation can be extremely dangerous (and even deadly) to anyone not authorized or properly trained to work with it. There's no reason to enter a substation yard or building. Stay back — and stay safe.

Visit our Power Equipment Safety page and check out the rest of our Safety section for more tips.

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