Old Problems, New Challenges
Chapter 4: Electric energy utilities
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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