The business of producing and supplying electricity can be complicated. But, at LakePoint Energy, we’re working to make it simpler by providing relevant energy information. Let’s start with the big picture.

  • Electricity is generated in power plants. These plants are operated by regulated electric utilities and unregulated companies.
  • In deregulated markets, consumers can choose the company that supplies their electricity. This electricity is sold to businesses by electricity suppliers, such as FirstEnergy Solutions, AEP Energy, Direct Energy and many more…
  • Regulated electric utilities continue to maintain the wires and poles that deliver the electricity from power plants to homes and businesses.

Traditionally, electricity was generated and supplied by the same company – the electric company. Today, customers can shop around for the best price for their electricity generation.

1311089978856How does electricity work?
Electricity is typically produced at a power plant. The fuel source (most commonly oil, coal, natural gas, or nuclear material) is burned, and the heat is used to boil water. When water boils, the steam can physically propel electric generators. These generators are large magnets that spin with respect to coils of metal wire. Electricity and magnetism are related phenomena, so these moving magnets cause electricity to flow.

Electricity is actually moving electrons. The electrons can flow from atom to atom in metals, such as those used for power lines. Electricity can flow easily as long as the wires are connected in a loop, called a circuit. So the power lines that extend from the power plant into the community eventually lead all the way back to the plant.

How the grid works                                                                                                                                                                                

When electricity is created by large generators at a power plant, it has voltage of approximately 25,000 volts. A volt is a measurement of the force in electricity that pushes electrons around a circuit.

Electricity travels more efficiently at higher voltages. The electricity coming from the power plant travels to a transformer that boosts the voltage up to 400,000 volts. This high-voltage electricity is then transmitted through long, thick cables made of a low-resistance material, such as copper or aluminum.

This high-voltage electricity travels over the wires to a substation where transformers change the electricity back to lower voltages. These substations provide electricity to factories and to your neighborhood.

When electricity from the substation arrives in your area, another small transformer, usually mounted on a utility pole, reduces the voltage even further to the lower levels used in your facility.

Kilowhat?                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The kilowatt hour, or kilowatt-hour, (symbol kW·h, kW h or kWh) is a unit of energy equal to 1000 watt hours or 3.6 megajoules. For constant power, energy in watt hours is the product of power in watts and time in hours. The kilowatt hour is most commonly known as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities.

Definition  – kilowatt-hour                                                                                                                                                                      

The kilowatt-hour (symbolized kWh) is a unit of energy equivalent to one kilowatt (1 kW) of power expended for one hour (1 h) of time.

Watt hour multiples and billing units                                                                                                                                                

The kilowatt hour is commonly used by electrical distribution providers for purposes of billing, since the monthly energy consumption of a typical residential customer ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand kilowatt hours. Megawatt hours, gigawatt hours, and terawatt hours are often used for metering larger amounts of electrical energy to industrial customers and in power generation. The terawatt hour and petawatt hour are large enough to conveniently express annual electricity generation for whole countries.