Online Learning: Learning Paths

Introduction to Utilities

Length: 90 minutes
Subscription: 1 month - 12 months
Cost: $195 - $250
Prerequisites: None

Introduction to Utilities aims to quickly introduce key industry-specific information necessary for individuals new to the utility business. This course uses simple, nontechnical language and examples to explain what a public utility is, how utilities are regulated, how they set rates, how they interact with various stakeholders, how various company departments provide services to customers, and the key skills utility employees need to be successful. Included are activities to engage the learner throughout the course and a quiz at the end to test knowledge retention. This course helps the new employee start his or her career with a clear understanding of what makes the utility business different from other industries. Introduction to Utilities is mobile ready and works on multiple devices including desktop, laptop and smart phone.

This course comprises the following lessons:

  • What a utility is
  • Why utilities are different from other companies
  • How the history of utilities impacts their current business practices
  • How actions of policymakers and regulators impact a utility
  • How different stakeholders relate to the utility
  • The functions of the different utility departments
  • The key skills needed to be successful as a utility employee

Following is a more detailed outline of content contained in the Introduction to Utilities online course.


  • Learning objectives
  • Description of scenario – coworker describing utility
  • What you will learn – table of contents and navigation options

How Public Utilities Are a Unique Form of Company

  • What a public utility is
  • Public utilities are regulated
  • Which companies are designated as public utilities
  • Activity: Identifying public utilities
  • Ownership of public utilities
  • How public utilities are fundamental to our society

Evolution of the Utility Business Model

  • The history of gas utilities
  • Movement of open competition in wholesale gas markets
  • The history of electric utilities
  • Movement to open competition in some regions in electric markets

How Regulation Works and How It Affects the Utility

  • Regulation affects everything about the utility business
  • Why utilities are regulated
  • Different forms of regulation – monopolies, essential facilities, energy market participants
  • Goals of regulation
  • Functions of regulation
  • Who sets regulatory policy
  • The regulatory compact
  • Who regulates what in the energy business
  • Activity – Match the function with the regulator

How Rates Are Set

  • Why prices are called rates
  • The concept of cost-of-service ratemaking
  • The revenue requirement
  • Expenses and capital
  • Activity: Expense vs. capital
  • How rates translate to revenues
  • Activity: Impacts of events on rates and revenues

Stakeholders in the Utility Business

  • What a stakeholder is
  • Why external stakeholders are important to a utility
  • Who various stakeholders are
  • Activity: Interactions with stakeholders

Utility Departments

  • The importance of various departments working together to deliver service
  • Description of the key company departments and their functions
  • Activity: Matching a function to its responsible department Key Skills for Success at a Utility
  • Description of the various key skills

Key Skills for Success at a Utility

  • Description of the various key skills

Comprehensive Quiz

  • Quiz to test achievement of learning objective

Contact us at 866-765-5432 or e-mail for more information.

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