Where does it come from?

Wilson Energy buys its electricity through the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (popupNCEMPA), a non-profit group made up of 32 eastern N.C. cities, including Wilson, Rocky Mount, Greenville and Clayton.

NCEMPA gets its energy from several power generation plants in which it has partial ownership, including the Shearon Harris nuclear power plant near Raleigh and the Brunswick nuclear power plant near Wilmington. (popupHow nuclear power works) Wilson Energy also buys supplemental energy from Progress Energy, an investor-owned utility with facilities in North Carolina and Florida.

The electricity enters Wilson via large transmission lines that typically carry a charge of 115,000 volts (popupHow power grids work) . From there, it travels to one of the City's substations where it is reduced to distribution level, typically 12,470 to 25,000 volts.

From there, the energy travels to your neighborhood where the voltage is reduced again at a transformer. The transformer closest to you may be above ground on a pole or at ground level in a green or brown box.

In either case, be careful when you're close to it. The transformer reduces the voltage to about 120 to 240 volts, a level that operates the electrical appliances in your home. Most appliances use 120 volts, but high-use appliances, such as such as clothes dryers or air conditioners, use 240 volts.