Transmission Lines, Towers, and Substations

image of high voltage transmission lines

Power coming from remote power plants requires high-voltage power transmission lines, transmission towers, and substations. For your protection, stay away from all high-voltage electrical equipment.

Transmission Lines

Transmission lines carry electricity over long distances. Transmission towers are large structures that support the high-voltage transmission lines. These lines typically feed into a substation so that the electricity can be reduced to a level that can subsequently be used by our customers.

Towers and Substations Have “High Voltage” Warnings

Towers and substations have "High Voltage" warning signs posted on them because of their extreme danger. Only qualified personnel may access these structures and facilities. Do not attempt entry into any substation and do not touch any electrical tower.

The voltage in power lines in Austin's outer areas where electric power is generated can be as high as 345 kilovolts. In suburban areas, the voltage for many of the power lines is 138 kilovolts. Within the City’s limits, 69 kilovolts is a common voltage.

Substations help “step down” this high voltage so that by the time electricity is delivered to your home, the voltage has been reduced to about 120 volts, or 0.120 kilovolts, a small fraction of what is transmitted through transmission lines.

Stay Safe Around Transmission Towers and Substations

Transmission towers can be enticing to children and some adults because they look like tall ladders. However, you should never climb a transmission tower. Only qualified utility personnel with specialized tools and safety gear can climb towers safely.

For your protection, stay away from transmission towers all together and avoid contacting other high voltage electrical equipment or power lines.

For More Information

For more information about electrical safety, email our Speaker's Bureau to request a safety presentation for your school or community group.

Date last reviewed or modified: 5/30/17

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