Electrical power is a little bit like the air you breathe: You don't really think about it until it is missing. Power is just "there," meeting your every need, constantly. It is only during a power failure, when you walk into a dark room and instinctively hit the useless light switch, that you realize how important power is in your daily life. You use it for heating, cooling, cooking, refrigeration, light, sound, computation, entertainment... Without it, life can get somewhat cumbersome.
Power travels from the power plant to your house through an amazing system called the power distribution grid.
The grid is quite public -- if you live in a suburban or rural area, chances are it is right out in the open for all to see. It is so public, in fact, that you probably don't even notice it anymore. Your brain likely ignores all of the power lines because it has seen them so often. In this edition of HowStuffWorks, we will look at all of the equipment that brings electrical power to your home. The next time you look at the power grid, you will be able to really see it and understand what is going on!