An Invisible Journey: How Electricity Travels to Your Home Using Substations

An Invisible Journey: How Electricity Travels to Your Home Using Substations

Last summer, our new substation in Ocean Ranch made its debut helping manage the electricity needed to support the growth of new businesses and residential developments in the Oceanside community.

If you’ve lived in a growing area for a few years, you’ve more than likely noticed the new businesses and homes that have popped up near your neighborhood, but have you wondered what it takes to provide reliable electricity to areas with a growing demand?

When you flip a light switch, your power is coming from a substation – much like the above-mentioned one in Ocean Ranch, but what makes these structures so important?

Ocean Ranch substation project team at work


Substations have several functions – all stemming from their role as the middle man between the high-voltage output from generators and the lower-voltage needs of your home.

If we had to give electricity directions to your home, the higher-voltage lines would act as the freeways they’d take to get to your area, and the substation that supplies power to your home would be the exit we’d tell it to take to get to the lower-voltage lines that service your street.


Ocean Ranch Substation


Our 162 substations in the SDG&E service territory allow us to make sure the right amounts of energy get to the right places, maintaining a careful balance to ensure safe, reliable power to our 1.46 million customers.

Ultimately, when a new substation is introduced to an area that’s experienced substantial growth - like Oceanside - the substation improves the reliability of the local electrical system and boosts system performance when our customers need it the most.  This means less service disruption and robust energy to service local residences and businesses, so they can flip the switch without a hitch. See what we did there?