How fuel gets to our homes

It’s easy for us to just take the energy we use. If you feel a little cold, you turn on the central heater. Want to shower? Only one tap on an app can turn on hot water these days. But the route to getting energy to your home is not easy. This is a brief guide to what happens behind the scenes to power your home.

Solar power

The sun is more than 90 million miles away from Earth, but it takes less than 10 minutes for light to hit it. After sunlight hits the solar panels, it produces a flow of electrons through the panel cells, producing electricity. Each cell produces several volts of electricity and the panel combines the energy they produce to make a larger current and voltage.

For those who have solar panels on their home, the excess power that is produced is exported back to the National Grid and redistributed throughout the country. But one drawback is that solar energy cannot be stored. However, new development by Tesla claims to overcome the problem.

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The UK gas supply mostly derives from the North and East Ireland seas. It was also brought in from other countries throughout Europe. In some cases, the gas shrinks up to 600 times in volume making it easy to transport. This gas is burned in a power plant, producing heat energy that drives a turbine that drives a generator. This converts the mechanical energy of the turbine into electrical energy. Make sure your gas appliances are regularly serviced by a Gas registered engineer and your meter is kept in good condition. For a replacement Gas Meter box, visit


The power of the wind was utilized since thousands of years BC, when ancient Egyptians harnessed it to navigate across the Nile. Current technology means that wind turbine blades can now rotate at 10-30 revolutions per second, converted into electricity through a generator, like a giant version of a dynamo-powered lamp on a bicycle. Transformers convert this electricity to the correct voltage for distribution. The National Grid sends this power throughout the country. Like the sun, there is no way to store this energy.


Uranium, a heavy metal, was formed in supernovae more than 6.6 billion years ago and can be found on rocks and seawater. Now it helps supply the globe with as much as 16% of its electricity. Uranium is transformed into a fuel pellet that releases heat energy when the atoms split, producing superheated steam that drives the turbine. This turbine drives a generator, which gives us electricity.

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The coal seam can run deep underground, as low as 800m and stretches hundreds of kilometers across England. Depending on how far the coal must travel, it is transported by truck, train or barge. The final product of coal goes to a plant where it is combusted and, like nuclear power, drives a turbine to produce electricity.