This industry provide electricity for homes, commercial buildings and other needs. Electric utilities can be publicly owned/nationalized, investor-owned or cooperatives. Investor-owned simply means that a business, which provides a utility product or service (such as gas, water or electricity), is privately run and managed. Investor-owned utilities may also be public companies whose stocks are traded on an exchange. A cooperative is a business that is jointly owned by several individuals and is democratically managed by these individuals.
This utilities provide gas for consumer and commercial use. Similar to an electric utility, a gas utility may also be publicly owned, investor-owned or a cooperative. Atmos Energy, one of the largest natural gas utilities, is an investor-owned utility. It serves over three million customers across eight states and has revenues exceeding $3 billion. Other gas utilities include AGL Resources, Southern California Gas Company and Pacific Gas.
Water utilities provide water for consumer and commercial use. Given that water is frequently a natural monopoly, water utilities are often publicly owned and regulated by the state in which they operate. For example, the water utility in New York City is publicly owned and operates under the city’s Department of Environmental Protection as the New York City Water Board. Examples of water utilities that are not publicly owned include American Water, Erie Water Works and Aqua America.