Electricity distribution

Electricity moves at nearly the speed of light. That’s almost 300,000 kilometres (or 7.5 times around the earth) in just one second.

How electricity gets from the power station to your place

Electricity travels along conductors. The best conductors are metals like copper and aluminium. Wires made of these metals are used to carry electricity from one place to another. These wires run from the power station through transmission towers and pylons to streets and then into homes and businesses.

New Zealand's supply system

The New Zealand electricity supply system consists of:

  • Generation (power stations)
  • High voltage transmission (through the electricity grid)
  • Low voltage regional distribution (lines businesses),and
  • Retail (energy businesses).

The wires, power poles and connection points are owned by lines businesses. Legislation prevents generation and retail companies, like Contact, from owning transmission lines. Local lines are owned by local lines companies and Transpower owns the national transmission lines or national 'grid'.

Read more about the New Zealand electricity industry.