Public and investor-owned utilities alike are facing a dilemma: Americans are using less energy. Increasing efficiency and the shift to a service-oriented economy have combined to reduce electricity consumption on a per capita basis for several years running.
It’s a trend that’s weighing on utility companies, and their bottom lines.
Eight U.S. utilities had debt in excess of $2 billion, according to recent financial statements, led by The Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) $20.3 billion. So far this year, the credit ratings of four utilities with significant debt were downgraded to a negative outlook by the major rating agencies.
As a result, publicly owned and publicly traded utilities alike are looking for new sources of revenue.