Distribution and use of electricity

Once electricity has been generated, it needs to be transported from the power station or generator to consumer homes. This is done using a system of pylons and cables called the National Grid.

Main features of the national grid from power station to step-up  transformers then transmission lines, step-down transformers and finally consumers

Some energy is 'lost' in the transmission lines as heat, due to resistance in the cables and a small amount of sound energy. If you have ever stood near a pylon you may have heard a faint buzzing noise, as some energy is transferred to sound.

We can reduce the loss of energy as heat by ensuring that the electricity in the transmission lines has a low current. When there is a low enough current, less electrical energy is lost as heat.

Energy in the home

The way we use electricity in the home affects the amount of electricity we need to generate. If we are wasteful then we need to make more.

In order to reduce our carbon footprint in our homes and also to reduce our reliance on Scotland's energy resources, we can:

  • have roof and cavity wall insulation installed to reduce the heat energy lost from our homes
  • have our windows double or triple glazed to reduce heat loss through our windows
  • switch off unwanted lights and appliances to reduce unnecessary energy use
  • make use of energy efficient electrical appliances such as low energy light bulbs where possible
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