Electric utilities are called "public utilities" because they’re providing a public service—a reliable supply of energy in the form of electricity. But don’t confuse public service with public ownership. While there are three types of electric utilities in Wisconsin, only municipal utilities are publicly owned. The other two—IOUs and co-ops—are privately owned. Each type of utility has a different kind of business model. There are three different types of electric utilities in Wisconsin.
Want to see how these three stack up? Check out our Utilities at a Glance chart.