How does electricity get into the socket? The Energy Museum in Berlin does not only vividly illustrate how electricity is generated and distributed, but it also traces the development of communication technology and home appliances. Several exhibits are shown in action. Whoever, for instance, kept wondering how the switchboard girl of yesteryear connected telephone lines can try it out for himself.
The museum is part of a complex of buildings that is one of the best places in Berlin to study the rich history of public power supply. At the beginning of the last century Steglitz was an independent municipality. The first facilities for public supply were built in the 1910s. The outcome was a plant that powered, amongst others, the local tramway and an ice factory. The plant was taken over in 1920 by the „Berliner Städtische Elektrizitätswerke Aktien-Gesellschaft“ (BEWAG), resulting from the establishment of Greater Berlin. The division of the city following World War II made the western part of Berlin an “electricity island”. Steglitz evolved to be a laboratory of technology and became an important element of urban power supply. In 1986 Germany’s largest battery storage unit became operational. However, it soon lost its function due to the reunification and the integration of Berlin into the national power grid. Thus, the building became the residence of the Energy Museum that had been founded in 2001 thanks to the strong commitment and profound expert knowledge of BEWAG employees and retirees. Except for special event days, guided visits of the museum require email registration.