How Electricity Gets to Our Homes, Businesses & Industries

Electricity flows through power lines that run throughout our community and landscapes. It is an essential source of energy that powers the conveniences of everyday life. But have you ever thought about HOW it gets to our homes, businesses and industries?

Power plants, such as Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), generate electricity through various forms of production. That power is sent through a step-up transformer that raises the voltage level and sends it to transmission lines. The transmission lines carry it to a transmission substation, which lowers the voltage and distributes it to lower-voltage lines in the distribution station. From the distribution station, the voltage is lowered and the electricity goes to main lines. The main lines carry it to branch lines and lower the voltage through transformers. From there the electricity connects to the premise through the service drop to the meter, which measures your usage.

Electric Utilities in America

Electricity gets distributed through various types of utilities - 60% are public power utilities, 25% are rural electric cooperatives, 9% are power marketers, 6% are investor-owned utilities and 0.3% are federal power agencies. While some utilities are both a generator and distributor, Jackson Energy Authority is a municipal public power distributor of electricity purchased from the TVA power plant.

What is Public Power?

Public power refers to not-for-profit utilities owned and operated by a municipality, state or federal government. Simply stated, Public Power utilities are power providers that are held accountable to the people they serve through local governing boards, not shareholders or cooperatives. They are community-owned, with many benefits such as:

Jackson Energy Authority is one of the over 2,000 public power providers in the nation that provide safe, reliable electric service to our community. And, that mission has not gone unnoticed as JEA earned the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) Diamond Designation for the 6th consecutive time. This designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement