A public utility is an organization that maintains the infrastructure for a public service (often also providing a service using that infrastructure). Public utilities are subject to forms of public control and regulation ranging from local community-based groups to state-wide government monopolies. The term utilities can also refer to the set of services provided by these organizations consumed by the public: electricity, natural gas, water, and sewage. Telephone services may occasionally be included within the definition. In the United States of America, public utilities are often natural monopolies because the infrastructure required to produce and deliver a product such as electricity or water is very expensive to build and maintain. As a result, they are often government monopolies, or if privately owned, the sectors are specially regulated by a public utilities commission. The European region currently dominates the global utilities industry, but Asia Pacific (APAC) is expected to lead the industry. The overall market is estimated to reach US $4,372 billion with a CAGR of 3.9% over the next five years. The global utilities sector provides services such as electric power, natural gas, and water supply as well as sewage removal through a permanent infrastructure of lines, mains, and pipes. The industry is fragmented with many players. The sector consists of electricity, natural gas, and water utilities. Electric utilities are the main segment of the global utilities industry. Population and economic growth, particularly in developing countries, are driving the demand for utilities. Improving economic conditions, especially in emerging economic regions such as APAC, are expected to have a major impact on the industry. APAC is expected to be the fastest-growing consumption market based on its continued rapid economic growth. China and India are likely to play significant roles in rising energy demand globally. Decaying infrastructure creates a major obstacle that can contribute catastrophic increases in power failure rates, and enormous maintenance and replacement costs. Additionally, aging pipelines cause water loss through leakage and other operational issues. A mature work force presents another major challenge, as utilities companies require skilled labor.