The public utility field encompasses a wide range of companies that provide essential services to the public. These include electric, gas, and water utilities, as well as telecommunications and transportation providers. While each type of company has its own specific area of operations, all of them play a vital role in keeping our society running smoothly.
This article will introduce you to some of the biggest names in the public utility industry. We’ll take a look at what they do, how they got started, and what makes them stand out from the competition. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
1. American Electric Power
As one of the largest public utility companies in the United States, American Electric Power (AEP) is a leading electricity provider. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, AEP serves more than five million customers in 11 states. AEP employs more than 17,000 people and generates over $10 billion in annual revenues.
AEP was founded in 1906 as the American Gas and Electric Company (AG&E). The company has grown steadily through the years, acquiring various smaller utilities and expanding its service territory. In 1952, AEP adopted its current name to better reflect its focus on electric power generation and delivery.
Today, AEP is a Fortune 500 company with a strong commitment to providing safe, reliable, and affordable electricity to its customers. They own and operate a diverse fleet of electric generating plants, including coal-fired, natural gas-fired, nuclear, and hydroelectric facilities. The company is also one of the largest transporters of electricity in the USA.
2. Pinnacle West Capital Corporation
Pinnacle West Capital Corporation is an Arizona-based holding company that owns and operates electric utility companies. Its subsidiaries include Arizona Public Service Company (APS), the largest electricity provider in Arizona, and Bright Canyon Energy, which build and operate solar infrastructure in the electric energy industry.
Pinnacle West was founded in 1985 as the Arizona Power Company as the successor of the Arizona Public Service Company. It changed its name to Pinnacle West in 1987 to reflect its growing diversification beyond electric utilities.
Today, Pinnacle West is an S&P 500 company and publicly traded on the New York Stock exchange. The current chairman and CEO of the company is Jeffrey B. Guldner. It has over 6000 employees and produces $3.5 billion in annual revenues (as of 2017).
3. Duke Energy
Duke Energy Corp. is one of the largest natural gas and power holding companies in the United States. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Duke Energy serves 7.2 million customers across many states. The company employs more than 27,000 people and generates over $21 billion in annual revenue.
Duke Energy was founded in 1904 with a different name. In 1924, the company’s name was changed to Duke Power and became more prominent in 1927 by merging with several other energy companies. It grew steadily through the early 20th century, acquiring various smaller utilities and expanding its service territory.
In 1997, CP&L merged with Duke Power to form Duke Energy. Currently, Duke Energy is 145th in the Fortune 500 and one of the leading electricity providers in the United States. Duke Energy’s subsidiaries include Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress, and Duke Energy Florida.
4. Edison International
Edison International is one of the oldest publicly traded electric utilities in the United States. Headquartered in Rosemead, California, Edison International serves more than 15 million customers across different states. It employs more than 12,000 people and generates over $12 billion in annual revenues (as of 2013). They have total assets of $41.44 billion as of 2013.
Edison International was incorporated in 1909 as the Southern California Edison Company (SCE) and became Edison International in 1996. It is the successor to the original Edison Electric Company, which was founded by Thomas Edison himself in 1892.
The subsidiary of Edison International, Southern California Edison (SCE), is the largest electric utility in California and one of the largest in the United States. Other subsidiaries of Edison International include Edison Energy, Edison Mission Energy, Walnut Creek Energy, Mountain Wind Power, and much more.
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational and multiindustry holding company with headquarters at Whitacre Tower, Downtown Dallas, Texas. It is the third largest service provider of mobile telephones in the United States and also provides broadband subscription television services. AT&T is the second largest provider of pay television services in the United States after Comcast.
AT&T began its history as Bell Telephone Company by Alexander Graham Bell in 1875. The Bell Telephone Company was the first telephone company in the world. Later, the company morphed into American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in 1994.
AT&T is the world’s biggest telecom company by revenue and holds the 13th position in the Fortune 500 list amongst the biggest United States corporations. As of 2021, the company had revenue of 168.86 billion and total assets of 551.62 billion. They employ over 203,000 as of 2022.
6. Southern Company
Southern Company is an American electric and gas utility holding company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. They are the second largest utility company by customer base in the United States and serve nine million customers through its subsidiaries. As of 2018, they earned around US$23.5 billion in revenue.
Southern Company serves six different states, including Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Virginia, and Tennessee. It has approx 31,000 employees and is the 126th on the Fortune 500 list of the largest American corporations. The company has been publicly traded since September 30, 1949, and currently has around 500,000 shareholders.
The Southern Company was founded as Southeastern Power & Light in 1924. Now it serves a vast area of 310,000 km2 in different states of the USA. It also has a considerable number of subsidiaries, including Georgia Power, Alabama Power, Southern Company Services, Southern Linc, PowerSecure, Atlanta Gas Light, etc.
7. American Water Works
American Water Works Inc. is the largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company in the United States, serving around 24 million people. The company is headquartered in Camden, New Jersey and employs over 6,000 people.
The American Water Works was founded in 1886 as the American Water Works & Guarantee Company. They became American Water Works and Electric Company in 1914 and American Water Works Inc. in 1947. The company is divided into multiple subdivisions for ease of management.
As of 2021, the company had revenue of US$3.93 billion and total assets of US$26.08 billion. They own many water treatment plants, groundwater wells, dams, pumping stations, and water storage facilities.
8. Essential Utilities Inc
Essential Utilities Inc is an American water and wastewater utility company. It was formerly known as Aqua America till 2020. Headquartered in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, it was founded back in 1886 as Springfield Water Company. They provide drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure services.
The company’s name was changed several times until it was finally named Essential Utilities. The company operates in different states of the United States, including Ohio, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, etc.
Currently, the company has around 3100 employees working for them. In the year 2021 alone, they had a revenue of US$1,878M. Aqua Pennsylvania is their bigger subsidiary. Aqua Resources, Inc. is its non-utility subsidiary which is not regulated.
9. Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) is a public utility providing natural gas and electricity to a huge part of the northern two-thirds of California. The company is owned by investors and provides electricity to 5.2 million households in California.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, PG&E is the subsidiary of the holding company PG&E Corporation subsidiary. It was founded in 1905 and, till now, provides services to one of the most populous U.S. states. PG&E is ranked 168 in the Fortune 500 list of the biggest US companies.
Currently, PG&E works on different types of energy, including hydroelectric, nuclear, solar, and combustion. As of 2021, the company had revenue of US$20.64 billion and total assets of US$103.3 billion. They cur
Verizon Communications Inc. is an American broadband and telecommunications company. It was founded in 1983 as the successor of Bell Atlantic Corporation and is headquartered in New York City. The company provides services to both residential and commercial customers.
Verizon is one of the top 3 largest wireless carriers in the United States, with around 143 million subscribers as of Q1 2022. The company is also one of the biggest in terms of landline telephone services in the United States.
The company has different types of subsidiaries, including BlueJeans, Visible, Skywalk, Verizon Connect, and Verizon Fios. As of 2021, it employs around 118,000 people and earns a revenue of $133.61 billion. As of 2022, Verizon ranks 54th in the Fortune 500 companies.
There are the top 10 largest public utility companies in the United States of America. These companies are responsible for providing basic services like electricity, water, and gas to millions of people across the country. These companies are also some of the biggest employers in the USA, with many thousands of employees working for them.