A Guide to the Power and Influence of Electric Utilities

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Utilities. We all know what they are. Well, kind of.

PowerLines: A Guide to the Power and Influence of Electric Utilities

In every city and state, utilities are some of the most powerful players around. Their names and logos are everywhere, from primetime TV commercials to sponsorship lists for summertime music festivals. We don’t have much of a choice over which utility companies we do business with, and for many of us, we don’t even really know how they work and why they are so powerful.

This primer is aimed at helping to demystify the power surrounding utilities. It sketches out the utility power structure, offers strategies for researching utility corporate power, presents case studies of utility power at the state and city levels, and profiles local movements that are leading the fightback against utility power.

We focus mostly on one kind of utility: investor-owned electric utilities.

Whether you’re interested in joining or starting a campaign or simply want to know why your local utility company seems to be everywhere you turn, this primer is for you.

New from LittleSis

Campaign Resources

Now you know what electric utilites are and how they push their agenda but what can we do about it?

  • Read first-hand accounts from campaigners, organizers, and activists working to challenge the power of utilities where they live.
  • Find a campaign near you!
  • Check out our handy resources and guides for campaigners dealing with rate cases

research Resources

Ready to start mapping the power behind electric utilities?

  • Read our guides to help you get started with handy walkthroughs of important research databases and methodologies.
  • Review case studies that use the resources outlined in our research guides to create a comprehensive look at the power and influence of major utilities.
  • See recent reports from LittleSis and others researching utilities.

PowerLines101.org is a microsite of