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  • Electricty

    How electricity works

    Every time you flip a switch or adjust the temperature on your home's thermostat, electricity is doing its job. In fact, we rely on electricity for countless day-to-day tasks. But how often do we consider how it's generated or delivered?

    Find the perfect electricity plan for your home

    Explore our plans for business ›

    Lightbulbs

    Deregulation gives you a choice

    In Texas, the electricity industry is deregulated. If you’re new to the state, deregulation simply means that you choose who provides power to your home or business. In many other states, customers don’t have a choice. Instead, electricity is delivered in “one-size-fits-all” fashion from the local utility. Because Texas is deregulated, you can choose an electricity provider and plan that best fit your unique needs.

    Choose the Reliant plan that’s right for you ›


    Generation

    Electricity begins its journey to our homes and businesses at a generating facility where natural resources are converted into electricity. There are many different types of generating facilities, as a variety of traditional and renewable resources can be used to create electricity.

    These are some of the most common types of facilities:

    Natural Gas

    Natural Gas

    Nuclear

    Nuclear

    Coal

    Coal

    Solar

    Solar

    Wind

    Wind

    Hydro

    Hydro

    Wind Farm

    Transmission & Distribution

    After electricity is generated, it moves through a complex system of electricity substations, transformers and power lines before it is ultimately delivered to your home. Transmission lines carry high-voltage electricity from the power plant to substations.

    Transmission & Distribution

    1 Power plant generates electricity

    2 Transformer prepares high-voltage electricity for transmission

    3 Transmission lines carry electricity to substations over long distances

    4 Substations decrease voltage for distribution

    5 Distribution lines carry electricity to homes

    6 Transformers decrease voltage once more as it enters homes

    Electricity Delivery

    Electricity delivery

    To get the electricity to you, retail electricity providers like Reliant utilize the services of a Transmission and Distribution Service Provider company. TDSP companies own and maintain power lines, and are responsible for the delivery of electricity to your home. In most cases, they are who you should call when you have a power outage.

    Did you know?

    • The U.S. electrical grid consists of 200,000 miles of transmission lines and 5.5 million miles of distribution lines.1
    • Electricity travels at the speed of light. That’s more than 186,000 miles per second!
    • A spark of static electricity can measure up to 3,000 volts.
    • A bolt of lightning can measure up to 3 million volts, and it lasts less than one second!2
    • As long as a bird has both feet on the same power line, electricity will continue to pass through the power line without passing through the bird.3
    Power Lines
    Terms, conditions and other restrictions

    Sources: