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Over the last couple of years, the utility sector has been a tale of two cities.

On one hand, you have those firms that have embraced natural gas and renewable energy. Here, these utilities seem to be thriving as lower costs and rising public demand are winning the day. On the other, not so much. Utilities that are stuck operating coal and high-cost nuclear plants have suffered hard and have trailed significantly behind their peers.

The question is: which side will prevail and which makes the better investment?

After a high-profile bankruptcy and potential Federal bailout, the answer may not be too clear. For investors treading into the utilities stocks, the recent battle and results could send shockwaves throughout the normally boring industry.

Check out the top dividend-paying utilities stocks.

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