A high voltage sign

Electricity Journey

Electricity goes on an incredible journey to reach the sockets in your home.

From generation at a power station, electricity travels across the country through the national grid.

Whenever you switch on a socket, the electricity has just travelled through overhead lines, underground cables and substation transformers to get to your plug.

How It Works: Electricity Journey (watch time 1 Min 5 Sec)

The infographic below also show the journey of electricity from power station through the national grid.

The electricity distribution and transmission network
The electricity transmission and distribution network.


  • The journey begins when the power is generated, for example in a power station.
  • Once the power is generated, it is transformed in a series of substations to minimise energy losses in the power lines. Energy is lost as heat and light when an electric current is passed through a conductor. This is called Joule heating. Raising the voltage using a transformer reduces the electric current. This means less energy is lost and more energy is transmitted along the power lines.
  • The electricity is transmitted all over the UK at high voltages in the transmission network.
  • Once it gets to the distribution network, electricity needs to be transformed in a step-down transformer to lower and lower voltages, when it can be safe to use in heavy industry (e.g. , light industry (e.g.) and finally, at a voltage of 230 volts, in our homes and businesses.

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