Difference Between Transmission and Distribution

Transmission and distribution are terms used commonly in connection with electricity. It is not just production that is important but how efficiently it is transmitted from the power plant to power sub stations and then finally to end consumers that makes up the entire system of generation to consumption. People commonly confuse between transmission and distribution and believe them to be synonyms but these terms are as different as chalk and cheese. This article will highlight the features of both transmission and distribution to make the concepts clear to the readers.


Transmission refers to the process of carrying electricity that is produced by turbines in a power plant (whether thermal or hydro electric) to power sub stations that are located near populations. It is kept in mind to locate a sub station at a place that is strategically located so as to be able to supply electricity to as large a population as possible so that less money is spent in making sub stations. Thus transmission lines provide a medium for electricity being produced from power plants to near areas where it is to be utilized by the consumers. Transmission lines carry electricity at a very high voltage which is around 11000 volts and it is usually three phase power transmission.


Distribution begins after electricity lands at sub stations that are created near populations. It is the process of carrying high voltage electricity to end consumers converting it into 220V to make it safe and efficient for use in homes, offices and industries. The conversion of high voltage into a voltage that can be used in homes is done through transformers. Also the lines carrying this electricity to consumers are thin in comparison to transmission lines. Electricity is supplied in single phase to end consumers so some get it from one phase coming from the power plant while others may be getting it from another phase coming from the power plant.

Difference Between Transmission and Distribution

• Both transmission and distribution refer to movement of power after it has been generated at the power plant but whereas transmission is the movement of electricity from power plant to power sub stations near populations, distribution refers to carrying electricity from this sub station down to end consumers

• Transmission is done in three phase whereas distribution is done in single phase

• Transmission lines carry electricity at a very high voltage (11000V) whereas distribution lines carry it at low and safe levels (220V)

• Electricity if brought down from high to low voltage using transformers