Public Utilities, Second Edition

Public Utilities, Second Edition

Old Problems, New Challenges

David E. McNabb

A thoroughly updated introduction to the current issues and challenges facing managers and administrators in the investor and publicly owned utility industry, this engaging volume addresses management concerns in five sectors of the utility industry: electric power, natural gas, water, wastewater systems and public transit.

Chapter 4: Electric energy utilities

David E. McNabb

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, politics and public policy, public policy


Chapter 4 is an introduction to the electric power sector of the utility industry. The electric power industry is made up of a number of different participants, the majority of which are investor owned. At the most basic level, the segments can be grouped into two broad categories: buyers and sellers. Buyers of power are divided into three classes: residential, commercial, and industrial. On the seller side are five main types of organizations: investor-owned utilities, publicly owned energy utilities, rural electric cooperatives, federally owned utilities, and independent power producers. In 2015, investor-owned utilities supplied electricity to 68.4 percent of the total number of customers U.S. generating capacity and were responsible for 74 percent of all retail sales of electricity. Publicly owned utilities include municipal utilities, public power districts, irrigation districts, and rural electric cooperatives.

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