Electricity 101: Kelowna Contractors Explain
Have you ever paused to question what happens when you flick the switch and your lights come on? We rely on electricity for many facets of our lives; providing light, heating and cooling, running our technology and the ability to cook delicious food. Life as we know it in North America has become extremely convenient. Many people would have great difficulty if we reverted to the days of yesterday or had to live like those in 3rd world countries. Though we may take electricity for granted here in Kelowna and throughout Canada, many people in the world only know how to survive without it.
Where Does Electricity Come From?
Electricity is a huge part of our environment. This flowing electrical charge is found in nature. Electricity is considered to be a secondary form of energy. We harness it from naturally occurring sources such as natural gas, solar, coal, nuclear energy, wind and water. Educating yourself and your family about where energy originates from and the multitude of ways we can utilize it can be an exciting conversation.
Depending on where you live, electricity often travels far distances from generation plants before it arrives in our local homes, hospitals, schools and businesses. Electricity originating from a power generation plant has a voltage ranging approximately 20,000 volts. While in the generation plant, electricity can be boosted by a transformer, reaching 245,000 volts. Higher voltage enables electricity to travel far distances in the most efficient manner possible. Transmission lines are thick cables made from aluminum and copper attached to high steel towers, commonly seen traversing mountains and sometimes close to residential properties or along the side of the road. Next, the transmission lines flow into a substation where transformers are responsible for lowering the high voltage into lower amounts where it can be utilized. Our homes, streetlights, businesses, factories and mass transit rely on electricity of varying voltage. Distribution lines deliver electricity to residential and commercial properties. Sometimes these lines are buried underground and basically invisible. Hence the “call before you dig” to ensure you stay safe when operating heavy equipment.
Tracking Your Energy Consumption
Many clients are curious how they can curb their energy usage. The average household electricity usage varies significantly during the year. We are lucky in the Okanagan to experience fairly mild winters and hot summers. Many households only rely on their furnace during the fall and winter months. While some homes switch on their air conditioning for our warm summer temperatures, other neighbourhoods are fortunate to still have lots of trees and rolling hills or mountains to provide adequate shade. Greenway Electrical has years of experience in a variety of residential and commercial applications. If you prefer adding a heat pump, air conditioning unit, new wiring, or require help with installing a security system; our crew can help you complete any electrical job. Canadians and North Americans in general use the most energy per household compared to people all over the world.
Is It Time to Upgrade Your Electrical?
If you are exhausted with ever-increasing energy bills and want to lower your electricity consumption, Greenway Electrical in Lake Country has solutions. We can discuss your current usage and determine which upgrades will be most beneficial for your home, business or recreational property. We are the only electrician in the Okanagan Valley certified by the Canadian Solar Institute and also the College of the Rockies. Greenway Electrical proudly serves Kelowna and the Okanagan.