I know the difference between electricity and electrical, but I came across these two words (electricity plant and electrical plants) seeming to be used in the same contexts in the different parts of the book I translate, which is about Kafka's office writings about insuring different firms, depending on the risks, etc., and I couldn't be sure.

I translated both into a Turkish equivalent: [elektrik santrali], meaning "power plant." In the former, we are talking about a plant that a hotel is using to get electricity for its elevator. In the latter, we are talking about "high-voltage electrical plants", for which some safety regulations are issued. They look the same, but I am not sure.

Are there any differences between the two?

  • 1
    There is no rigid division of the meanings, but the word "plant" may be applied to an "electricity factory" of sorts which supplies power to an entire community, or it may be applied simply to a "generator" inside or adjacent to a building which supplies power to that building. Presumably that was the distinction being made.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:41
  • 4
    As a native English speaker, when I hear "electricity plant" I think of a venus flytrap that shoots lightning bolts. Either that or I think that a bad translation has taken place. The flytrap would be cooler. Bzzzt! Jul 3, 2016 at 13:47
  • I would be interested to know whether the book you are translating was originally written in English or whether it is, itself a translation: perhaps from Czech. Like @Max Williams I've never heard of an 'electricity plant' although 'electrical plant' is very common.
    – BoldBen
    Sep 3, 2016 at 13:55
  • Bingo! It's a book compiling some of Franz Kafka's legal documents translated into English from German by some American academicians... Thank you.
    – Emre.E.
    Mar 3, 2017 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


I'm studying Energy engineering, In my course and also in fields like Electrical, mechanical, chemical and industrial engineering; people deal with such terms often, you can ask them if you have contact with any of those.

Reference: http://chemistry.elmhurst.edu/vchembook/193sources.html

Referring to the link above... Electricity plant is a kind of factory or generator that uses coal, oil, biomass (basically fuels), nuclear reactions, renewables and solar power in order to create heat. With the heat produced they start boiling water to make steam. In high pressures that steam is used for spinning the turbines and producing electricity.

for further information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_generation

In the other hand we have electrical plant, A facility composed of many small structures in order to provide services such as heat, water, sewage disposal and even electricity!

See? the difference is: electricity plant is devoted to creating electrical power, often it's called power plant rather than electricity plant.How ever electrical plant is more general term used for facilities that provide heat, water and etc plus electricity.

Reference: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/electrical%20plant

Hope it helps

  • I've never heard of a power plant (power station in the UK and possibly elsewhere) being referred to as an "electricity plant". Jul 5, 2016 at 9:05
  • That may be what your textbook says, but you shouldn't rely on that being what people understand the terms to mean.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 5, 2016 at 11:52
  • Sorry @Kian Maghsoodi I think you must have misread slightly the sites to which you have linked. None of them refers to "Electricity Plant" of which I, as a native English speaker, have never heard. Following the first link I did find the term "Electric Power Plant" which I recognise as a synonym for "Power Station" or meaning "large scale generator". However you correctly identify "electrical plant" as referring to fixed equipment further down the distribution chain. This could be a large substation, motors for lifts (or elevators if you're American) or even an emergency diesel generator for
    – BoldBen
    Sep 3, 2016 at 14:19
  • Note: your first link uses "electric power plant", not "electricity plant".
    – Lawrence
    Sep 3, 2016 at 14:21
  • @BoldBen - That would not be the understanding of "electrical plant" in most of the US.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 3, 2017 at 12:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.