In the United States we have universal access to electricity. It is not only available to Americans who live in densely populated areas, wealthy Americans, or Americans with the technical ingenuity to generate electricity. It is available to 100 percent of Americans and accessible to any who wish to tap into it.
This universal access to electricity arose from a very intentional set of policies put in place throughout the 20th century, mostly requiring utilities to provide service to everyone in their service territory and then using government support for the development of new electricity infrastructure to ensure that every home could be part of that utility’s service territory. This was a moral and legal contract that electric companies entered into with the American people, and it generated a great amount of business for them as it fueled the rapid growth of our nation’s middle class.
For more on this topic, please see:
- The Electrical Divide: New Energy Technologies and Avoiding an Electric Service Gap by Richard W. Caperton and Mari Hernandez