# Why are the ground and neutral bonded in my panel?

I took a look inside my panel today and saw a big green wire connected to the neutral bus bar. Why are these two bonded together? Why not just send the neutral back where it came from? Where does the neutral line go once it leaves my house? Are the neutral and ground also bonded at the electric meter?

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–  Cornelius Jul 12 '14 at 20:32
I drew up some diagrams showing the connection of earth and neutral bars for another question. This shows where the neutral goes after it leaves your house. See here: electronics.stackexchange.com/a/121026/28570 –  Li-aung Yip Jul 13 '14 at 16:45