Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Today there are approximately 3, 500 electric utility systems in the Unite d States. These are owned by investors, cities, and consumers such as rural electric cooperatives. About 2, 000 of these electric systems are municipal (city-owned) and serve 13.5% of the consumers in the United States. The investor-owned utilities s total about 480 and serve about 79.0% of the customers. The remaining 1, 000 systems are rural cooperative s which serve 7. 5% of the consumers. This study is concerned with the 2, 000 electric systems that are municipally owned. Most of the systems are smaller than the investor-owned systems. This is evidence by the fact that while municipal systems constitute over 50% of the electric systems in the United States, they serve only 13. 5% of the consumers. At present a municipality has no guide as to the significance any of the foregoing factors should have in its consideration of the sale of its electric system. Since previous research is inadequate in this area, this study I undertaken to develop a methodology which will be useful in aiding municipalities in making this decision. The factors which should be considered before selling and their significance are delineated.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Electrical utilities

Rural electrification



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University