Understanding Energy and Choosing What’s Best for You

As the energy market continues to grow and evolve, it’s important for customers to have the most relevant and up-to-date information. The following resources offer just that, helping you to better understand your energy options and costs, effectively monitor and manage your energy usage, and take greater control over your total home energy costs.

Electricity keeps the lights on

Electricity is all around us. Whether it’s our bedroom lamp, our favorite gaming system, or the fridge that holds all of our favorite snacks, electricity powers them all. These days it even powers many of our cars. You could travel to the most uninhabited areas of the earth and still find it in the clouds above you during a storm. Electricity takes different forms: coal, water, solar, wind, nuclear, hydro and solar. But have you ever wondered what exactly electricity is made of or how it manages to get to your house? Learning and understanding where electricity comes from and how we are able to consume it allows us to better manage our usage and be more mindful of our resources.

What is electricity and how is it made?

Electricity is a secondary energy source that we get from the conversion of other sources of energy such as coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear power, and so on. These sources are known as “primary sources.” Primary sources can be renewable or non-renewable, but the electricity itself is neither. Like everything else, electricity is made up of atoms.

How does electricity work?

Electricity travels in closed circuits. It has to have a complete path before electrons can move through it. When you turn on a light by flipping a switch, you close a circuit. Of course, this means that by flipping a switch off, you open a circuit. Electricity flows from the electric wire, through the light, and back into the wire. The same concept applies to your television or your appliances– when you turn them on, you close a circuit for electricity to flow through the wires and power them.

How does electricity get to your home?

Where electricity comes from and where consumers get their energy varies. Some utility companies generate all the energy they sell only using the power plants they own. Others may purchase electricity directly from other utility companies, power marketers, and independent power producers from a wholesale market organized by a regional transmission reliability organization. All the little details aside, electricity reaches the consumer in very similar ways.
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