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Investor-owned utilities served 72% of U.S. electricity customers in 2017

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) electric power sector survey data, almost 3,000 electric distribution companies—or utilities—were operating in the United States in 2017. EIA classifies utilities into three ownership types: investor-owned utilities, publicly run or managed utilities, and cooperatives. Although there are fewer investor-owned utilities than the other two types of utilities, they tend to be very large. Investor-owned utilities serve three out of every four utility customers nationwide.