Utilities form an essential part of the U.S. economy by supplying gas, water, electricity, and communication. All utility companies combined spent $42.3 billion on capital goods in 1998, an increase of 9.3 percent from 1997. Of this total, $22.4 billion was used for structures and $19.9 billion was used for equipment. The total annual direct cost of corrosion in the utility category is estimated to be $47.9 billion, which is 34.7 percent of the total cost of the sector categories examined in this study.
The utilities category is divided into the following industry sectors: (1) gas distribution, (2) drinking water and sewer systems, (3) electrical utilities, and (4) telecommunication.