Every month or quarter a bill comes in from your electricity retailer. While some of that bill can be directly attributable to the volume of electrons that flow into your gadgets, household appliances, lights and other energy-eating devices, a good portion of it has nothing to do with your electricity consumption.

As well as electrons, that bill needs to pay for the infrastructure, meter readers, data management and other bits and pieces that make the power system work. Here's where the money goes.