How much do you really know about where your electricity comes from and how changes being made right now to Canada's power grid are going to affect you?

People tend to take electricity for granted — at least until the lights go out or they see a big increase on their monthly bill. But electricity is essential to modern life. It lights and heats our homes and workplaces, preserves and cooks our food, powers our communications and entertainment systems, and runs more and more vehicles.

So, what happens if we start plugging in hundreds of thousands of electric cars every night across the country? Canada is shutting down coal plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions, but what's going to replace them — natural gas, hydro, wind or solar power? How will the smart grid change your daily routines and your energy bill? What impact will the disaster at the nuclear reactor in Japan have on Canada's atomic industry and plans to expand plants here?

This CBC News special report  looks at how power is generated and distributed in Canada today, at the huge changes coming over the next decade, and what those changes will cost.

We all need electricity — this is what you need to know about Canada's electricity plans.



  • Producer: Ian Johnson
  • Lead researcher: Zach Dubinksy
  • Design: Ruby Buiza, Robert Vajda
  • Map and database programming: John Bowman
  • Interactives: Ruby Buiza, Robert Vajda, Tara Kimura, Peter Hadzipetros, Ian Johnson
  • Research/writing: Zach Dubinsky, Jonathan Hembrey, Emily Chung, Peter Evans, Dave Simms, Stéphane Bordeleau, Robert Sheppard, Ryan Charkow, Ian Johnson, Philip Demont, Denise Deveau, Peter Fairley, Lisa Hrabluk, Grant Buckler, Raf Brusilow, Sharda Prashad
  • Radio-Canada team: Isabelle Montpetit, Julie Gauthier, Stéphane Bordeleau