About Investor-Owned Utilities | wisconsinacademy.org
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About Investor-Owned Utilities

Investor-owned utilities (IOUs) are owned by shareholders and are operated for profit. Their need to provide a return on investment for shareholders tends to incentivize building infrastructure. There are twelve investor-owned utilities in Wisconsin. While this is a smaller figure than the number of munis and co-ops in Wisconsin, IOUs serve a larger number of customers and therefore account for the vast majority of electricity sales. Some quick facts about IOUs: 

  • IOUs provide 83% of retail electricity sales in Wisconsin.*
  • These private, for-profit utilities are owned by shareholders that are not exclusively from the service area.
  • The IOU business model is predicated on providing a return on shareholder investment.
  • IOUs are regulated by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
  • The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) works for IOU customers to push for fair and affordable rates and safe and reliable service.

How do IOUs compare to other utility models? Check out our Utilities at a Glance chart.

*2016 EIA data of retail MWh.

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