Some certain essentials and necessities are required in an individual day to day living. These things are crucial for the growth and development of living standards in a home, community, and country at large. These essentials are called Utilities and in this article, we’ll look at the meaning of Public Utilities, the importance of public utilities, examples of public utilities, and best paying jobs in public utility.
What Are Public Utilities
Public Utilities are essential services provided by the government or state which play a vital role in Economic and social development. These services are provided in various ways like in the form they are consumed, the time in which these services are rendered and utilized, the places or vacation where these services can be consumed and the usefulness or perceived value a consumer gains from the services rendered.
Examples of Public Utilities
These essential services supplied come in diverse forms based on the needs of the consumers and how much it contributes to economic growth and development. Examples of such services include;
- Electrical energy
- Natural gas
- Waste disposal and recycling
- Public rail and bus transportation
- Storage facilities (public warehouses and grain elevators)
Organization and Management of Public Utilities
The organization and management of public utilities come in 4 forms; Public Limited company, Private limited company, Public cooperations, and Departmental management.
Public Limited Company
A public limited company is comprised of at least 7 persons, without any margins to its maximum number of members. It is free from impediments of transferability of shares and issue of its prospectus to the public.
Much Public utility service has been delivered by these companies in the past, in Europe and the USA as well as in India. Indian Railways and electricity supply in various cities are some examples. Such companies however suffer from the shortcomings of public and social accountability. Most of these services have been nationalized now.
Private Limited Company
A private limited company is a kind of business organization registered under the Companies Act, 1956, with a minimum number of 2 persons and a maximum number of 50 persons. It has specific privileges and is subject to certain restrictions. Usually, goods transported by road are regulated by public limited companies, but other public utility services may also be overseen by private limited companies.
The benefit of this aspect of the organization is the maintenance of the quality of goods and services. But the downside to this aspect of the organization is the lack of public accountability.
Some public utility services are controlled by government divisions, under the control and direction of Ministries led by Ministers. Examples of such services are railways controlled by the ministry of railways through the railway committee. Post and Telegraph are controlled by the ministry of communication and so on. The main benefits of governing public utilities under this form of organization are as follows;
- Public accountability is in order
- The income goes to the public account
- The government provides the funds through annual budget grants approved by the Parliament.
- Management of the public utility is by credible members of the government.
Public operations are autonomous bodies set up under the special Acts of Parliament or State legislature. Such corporations gain their rights and powers through the special Acts and the area of operation is also put in place by the Act.
It has its Finances and Board Management. It operates like a joint stock company. However, it is accountable to the Parliament or State legislature since its audited annual report is placed before the Parliament or State Assembly.
Public Utilities organized as Public Corporation has their advantages and disadvantages
- They are directly answerable to the Parliament or State Legislature
- They have the flexibility and efficiency of private enterprises
- There is interference in the functioning by change of ruling parties
- Civil servants or politicians with little knowledge of business are given Managerial positions
Best Paying Jobs in Public Utilities
There are numerous options for jobs and career choices when it comes to public utilities. Here is a list of the 10 best paying jobs in public utilities;
Renewable Energy Managers
Renewable Energy Managers are responsible for facilitating energy conservation by identifying and implementing ways of utilizing wind, air, solar, and other renewable sources of energy. These professionals often have a degree in engineering and earn about $75,000 – $118,000 per year
Pipeline Integrity Engineers
Pipeline Integrity Engineers are responsible for overseeing the construction of pipelines, and ensuring the safety and proper functioning of pipelines. They examine pipelines for leaks, corrosion, and other potential faults. Pipeline Integrity Engineers have a high school diploma and they may require a certificate from the American Pipeline Institute. One-third of Pipeline integrity Engineers earn a salary of $250,000 per year.
Electric Power Plant Managers
The Electric Power Manager has the responsibility of supervising the operation of a power plant, monitoring workers’ progress, and ensuring equipment in the facility is functional and up to standards. An Electric Power Plant Manager earns an average salary of $95,000.
Natural Gas Distribution Managers
Natural Gas Distribution Managers organize the distribution of natural gas within a certain geographical area for a utility company. They monitor gas usage and prices, they improve and implement strategies to ensure that the gas is dispersed safely and efficiently. They earn an annual average salary of $115,000 per year.
Water Resource Engineer
Water Resource Engineers ensure that water supply and wastewater treatment must be designed, assembled, and sustained. A Water Resource Manager can also run the supervision and planning of water resources. They must have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a closely related subject. They earn a salary of $62,000 per year.
Hydroelectric Plant Technicians
Hydroelectric Plant Technicians are responsible for keeping the facilities operating efficiently. Hydroelectric plants utilize the energy of water in motion to generate power. They deal with the plants control system and carry out maintenance including repairing leaks or replacing damaged equipment. Hydroelectric plant Engineers earn an average salary of $100,000 per year.
Energy Auditors visually evaluate buildings and similar systems including mechanical, electrical, and process system to determine energy consumption in each area of the system. An Energy Auditor uses a variety of devices such as air velocity, monitors, or digital thermometers to compile field data associated with energy use. They earn an average salary of $56,000 per year.
Wind Farm Managers
Wind Farm managers ensure the general administration and maintenance of a wind farm are within the pure view of wind farm managers. Naturally employed by utilities or autonomous power producers, they could also be in charge of a team of technicians. Wind Farm Managers earn a salary of $76,000 per year.
Hydroelectric Power Plant Operators
Hydroelectric power plant operators supervise and maintain hydroelectric power plant stations. They often travel to far-flung districts while working at plant locations. Operators of hydroelectric power plants need to be well knowledgeable about mechanical and electrical systems. They earn an annual salary of $53,000.
A radiation engineer is responsible for running experiments to test and assess the effect of radiation in various contexts. They must perform tests in an experimental environment and then submit theoretical analysis based on those results of the experiments. A Radiation Engineer earns an average annual salary of $104,000 per year.
Importance of Public Utilities
Public utilities play a crucial role in the day-to-day living of individuals and the economic activities of a community and country at large. The importance is numerous some of which include; Job provision, Financial support for local government functions, Better standard of living, Infrastructural and national growth, Better production of internally generated Revenue, and Provision of room for better learning, self-growth, and development.