What Counts as a Utility Bill?

Written by k.c. morgan | 13/05/2017
What Counts as a Utility Bill?
Public utilities provide electricity. (power plant image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com)

The term "public utility" can be a little misleading. Businesses that provide utility services to the general public are considered public utilities, though they may be owned privately. In some locations, public utilities are allowed to have monopoly rights so they may better serve specific geographical regions. Bills received by consumers for these paid services count as utility bills.


What Counts as a Utility Bill?
Water is provided as a basic public service. (faucet image by Laura Dynan from Fotolia.com)

Monthly water bills are considered to be utility bills. Water is provided through public utility companies, which are commonly run through city and local governments. Water companies are responsible for purifying the water to make it fit for human consumption. The local water company, a public utility, lays piping for residential and commercial properties to connect to the city or county water supply, but property owners are responsible for running pipes up to the connections. Many types of property renters receive paid water services as part of the rental agreement.

Gas and Electricity

Gas and electricity bills are considered to be utility bills under the legal definition of the term. These services are often provided by the same local utility, though some property owners may only use one or the other to power their systems. Water heaters, stoves and household dryers may be powered through gas or electricity. Gas and electricity companies are responsible for running power connections to properties. The company is responsible for maintaining the connections, providing needed services if equipment fails.


What Counts as a Utility Bill?
Telephone poles keep the world connected. (Hollywood telephone pole image by Dreadman from Fotolia.com)

Land telephone services are also considered to be public utilities. The invoices these telephone companies send out are utility bills. Like electric and water companies, local telephone companies provide a service to the public at large. Public telephone companies are responsible for erecting telephone poles and running wires for land phone devices to work. The local telephone company ensures that properties are connected to the system; representatives will also visit a property to add or remove phone lines as requested. Like most businesses, public telephone utilities charge for their services.


Cable services, which are generally offered through private companies, are also public utilities. Cable companies must run large wires, usually underground, to provide their services. Many companies work with local governments to lay the infrastructure of the cable system; customers decide if they want to connect to the grid. Monthly cable services cost money, which is requested from the consumer in the form of a utility bill.

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.