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Utility Infrastructure Spend Surges

Utility spending for electric and gas systems sets record high for fifth year.

Energy utilities spent $112.5 billion on capital expenditures last year, continuing five years of steady growth.

This year, spending is expected to hit $119.7 billion, according to figures compiled by the Edison Electric Institute.

Early indications are that CapEx spending by utilities will hit a downward slope next year, coming in at $113.8 billion, followed by $109 billion in 2019, EEI said.

EEI, which represents investor-owned utilities, said that driving the current spending records are investments in clean energy, transmission and distribution grid modernization and natural gas infrastructure.

The spending surge comes at a time when most utilities are seeing their electricity sales remain flat or even declining as energy efficiency investments multiply and our economy continues its long-term shift away from energy-intensive manufacturing.

President Donald Trump has championed a proposed $1 trillion investment to upgrade long neglected infrastructure and provide a strong boost to employment.



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