Understanding the Basics: What Does an Electric Company Do?

Many electricity companies offer features to help customers save energy and money. See details like donation programs and community education on your provider’s website. Electric utilities maintain the long-distance transmission lines, local distribution networks and transformers that deliver power to homes. In regulated areas, utilities operate as regional monopolies and are subject to oversight by public utility commissions.


An electric company in Arlington, TX, maintains the electrical equipment that delivers energy to homes and businesses. They also provide electricity rates, plans and customer service. In states with deregulated electricity markets, these companies can either generate their own power or purchase wholesale electricity from other providers and then deliver it to customers. They’re sometimes referred to as REPs or retail energy providers and may be regulated by state or federal agencies. Some electric companies offer convenient services, like online management of billing and service options, automated bill pay and even outage reporting. They’re also involved in public education to help people conserve energy and reduce electricity usage. Many independent providers also support local communities through sustainability programs, such as donating solar energy or electricity to nonprofits and community members. They may also offer rebates and other incentives to help customers save money on electricity bills. In addition to providing convenience and efficiency, these companies must ensure the safety of their systems, employees and customers by working with regulatory agencies to meet compliance requirements.


Electric companies have to follow a lot of regulations regarding safety. They work with local and state agencies to ensure the electricity they provide is safe for people. They also need to ensure their power is not polluting the environment. In addition, they work with scientists to find new ways to generate energy so it’s not so dependent on fossil fuels. If you’re shopping for an independent electricity company, ask them about the types of power they generate. Some companies focus on renewable energy, while others are based on nonrenewable resources such as coal and petroleum. You can also look for an electric company that gives back to the community through charitable donations. You can find a company that offers plans tailored to your energy needs, such as 100% green electricity. Some also provide incentives for smart energy usage. You can also find an electricity company that uses sustainable business practices, such as reducing waste and promoting public education on saving energy. For decades, utility companies were regulated vertically integrated monopolies that owned power generation, transmission and distribution facilities. However, in most states with deregulated electricity markets, utilities no longer own and operate these facilities. Instead, electricity providers (retail energy suppliers or electric power brokers) are responsible for supplying electricity to the grid and providing customers with plans, rates and customer service options.

Customer Service

An electric company’s customer service department is vital to power availability for homes and businesses. They are responsible for distributing electricity across their regions, as well as assisting with things like billing and outage reporting. In addition, they often offer energy-saving tips and rebates to help customers reduce their consumption. Most companies have convenient features to manage services online, such as starting, stopping, or transferring your account. These tools eliminate the need to call and be put on hold, saving you time and frustration. Some also have live chat software that can resolve many issues quickly. Some states have deregulated the electric and gas industry, splitting their functions into providers and utilities. Providers are known as energy companies or electricity suppliers, and they act as price and contract regulators for the industry. They can offer competitive deals that are unavailable through a utility company alone. Utilities are still responsible for maintaining the poles and wires that deliver power to your home or business. They also handle repairs during downed lines or a storm outage. They read and tally the distribution of electricity to each house through a meter, which is then used to calculate the wattage that is billed monthly. They are also responsible for the linemen that restore service after a natural disaster or other issue.


In the past, utilities were one-stop shops that generated and distributed electricity and gas to their customers. They also manage the lines, wires and poles that deliver energy to homes and businesses. However, since many states have deregulated their energy markets, electric utilities no longer own and operate the power generation facilities and transmission infrastructure that serve their area. Today, electric companies are marketing their services through different offerings of electricity plans ranging from classic fixed-rate options to 100% green electricity and bundled products with incentives. Other features include online account management, automatic bill pay and an easy way to report power outages. An electric company can be investor-owned, owned by a community or cooperative, or publicly held on a stock exchange. It is financially motivated to maximize a return on shareholders’ investments by providing safe, reliable, low-cost energy. This may be accomplished by investing in a diverse portfolio of energy resources and managing them efficiently, or it may be achieved by offering competitive rates and providing a wide variety of customer service options. In addition to a comprehensive offering of energy services, some providers promote their business by donating electricity to nonprofits and promoting environmental awareness through public education. They also offer programs like cash rebates, consumer electronics and enrollment in loyalty rewards.

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