public utility

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public utility

n. any organization which provides services to the general public, although it may be privately owned. Public utilities include electric, gas, telephone, water, and television cable systems, as well as streetcar and bus lines. They are allowed certain monopoly rights due to the practical need to service entire geographic areas with one system, but they are regulated by state, county and/or city public utility commissions under state laws. (See: monopoly)

References in periodicals archive ?
As the largest publicly owned utility company in Arizona, APS serves more than 1 million customers-a number expected to grow by more than 3 percent annually.
EBMUD is a publicly owned utility formed under the Municipal Utility District Act passed by the California Legislature in 1921.
For example, PSE&G, one of the nation's largest gas and electric companies and New Jersey's largest publicly owned utility, recently approved a new-generation bimodal PE pipe resin from Dow Chemical Co., Houston, in part due to its ability to exceed ASTM PE 3408 and meet the higher performance requirements of the European ISO PE100 standard.
The European Commission is already taking Italy to court for not recovering the aid it gave several publicly owned utility firms in the 1990s which were declared illegal in 2002 (see 2930).
The Reliable Energy and Consumer Protection Act gives the Government the authority to sell its shares of the province's electricity distribution system, a publicly owned utility known as Hydro One.
Eisenach, Ph.D., president of the Washington, D.C.-based Progress & Freedom Foundation, there are more than 200 publicly owned utility providers competing in the country's telecommunications business (approximately 10% of the publicly owned utilities in the nation).