Enterprise that provides certain classes of services to the public, including common-carrier transportation (buses, airlines, railroads); telephone and telegraph services; power, heat and light; and community facilities for water and sanitation. In most countries such enterprises are state-owned and state-operated; in the U.S. they are mainly privately owned, but they operate under close regulation. Given the technology of production and distribution, they are considered natural monopolies, since the capital costs for such enterprises are large and the existence of competing or parallel systems would be inordinately expensive and wasteful. Government regulation in the U.S., particularly at the state level, aims to ensure safe operation, reasonable rates, and service on equal terms to all customers. Some states have experimented with deregulation of electricity and natural-gas operations to stimulate price reductions and improved service through competition, but the results have not been universally promising.
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Utility stocks hit a dark period, but their future is looking brighter. (Originated from Knight-Ridder Newspapers)
Sep 29, 1994; LEXINGTON, Ky. _ Time was when Charles Marshall found investing in utility stocks as easy as flipping a light switch. ``It was...
Utilities' brave new world requires more bravery in California.(California Public Utility Commission on municipal and investor-owned utilities' operating costs)(Panel Discussion)
May 21, 1996; The stakes are rising for investors in California municipal utilities as "retail wheeling" takes hold. Wholesale power...