Utilities provide necessary services to citizens and businesses including electricity, gas, water, telephone, and cable television. Electricity is the most important utility service. It's provided to all cities and towns across the U.S. Because they are considered essential services, utilities are heavily regulated by government authorities, particularly about the prices they can charge for these services.
Most states and local jurisdictions have special pricing programs for low-income consumers who receive essential services of electricity, water, and gas. Because of their necessary nature, such services can't be terminated immediately for non-payment. Instead, the utility company must work closely with consumers who fall behind on payments. If there's an emergency regarding utility services, such as the odor of gas or a downed power line, call 9-1-1 immediately.