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16 Examples of Utilities

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A utility is a service that provides a resource to your door as a service. As utilities connect to each house this tends to be an expensive type of infrastructure. As such, utilities are natural monopolies whereby it doesn't make sense to have multiple providers for each home. For this reason, utilities are either owned by governments or are heavily regulated to prevent firms from abusing their monopoly position. The following are common examples of a utility.


Water services that connect to homes and businesses.


Services that take back water that has been used such that it has become waste.


Electricity generation and distribution with infrastructure known as a grid. In many cases, a rooftop solar system is also offered as a utility service.


Natural gas is a type of energy that is commonly delivered to the home as a utility. This can be cheaper than electricity for heating.

Waste Management

Trash collection and recycling services.


Historically, television was delivered to the home with coaxial or fiber optic cables. This is likely to fade away due to a process of digital convergence whereby cables to the home are used for internet that can be used to access streaming media.


Wired internet services that reach homes and businesses.

Mobile Internet

Mobile internet and wifi services.


Communication services such as mobile phones and home phones. This is also converging with internet.


The postal service is a global system that delivers mail and packages to residences and businesses. This is technically a utility but isn't always listed as such.

District Heating

Services that distribute heat to a large number of buildings in an area using a system of insulated pipes. This has many types and has advanced over the years. The most modern variations use renewable energy or heat that would have otherwise gone to waste.

District Cooling

Services that deliver cool water to buildings as a form of air conditioning. This tends to be an energy efficient system that uses a nearby body of water as a heat sink.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is often described as a utility because its use can be scaled up and down on demand. As the internet reaches the home, a large number of internet services could be viewed as a utility. For example, an on-demand artificial intelligence platform could be viewed as a utility that is available to any home or business.

Streaming Media

Streaming movies, television shows and music can be viewed as a utility.


A utility is a fundamental resource that is delivered to the home. These are often natural monopolies because it doesn't typically make sense to duplicate infrastructure that must connect to every home. In this case, utilities are regulated by governments.


It is common for utilities to be provided as a public service by a government because these are viewed as foundational infrastructure for a city, state and nation.
Overview: Utilities
A service that reaches homes and businesses that is available on-demand such that resource usage can be scaled up and down.
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