Stock Quotes in this Article: CPK, DTE, DUK, POR, TEG, WR

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet’s guest contributor program, which is separate from the company’s news coverage. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

SAN FRANCISCO (Stockerblog) -- If dividend increases are indicative of a strong industry, then electric utilities are in great shape. Portland General Electric (POR) recently announced a 2% increase in its quarterly common stock dividend to 26.5 cents per share, up from 26.0 cents per share for the previous quarter. DTE Energy (DTE) declared a 5% increase in its dividend payout. In addition, Chesapeake Utilities (CPK) raised its quarterly cash dividend by 4.6%.

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    Summer is approaching, which means more electricity to run air conditioners, and more electricity may be consumed. What electric stocks should you plug into? At WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, we've updated our list of electricity stocks, and there are more than 30 with yields above 3%. In addition, these companies can provide relative safety, security and stability compared to stocks in many other sectors. In the past, utilities have paid favorable dividends for many years with low volatility.

    Duke Energy (DUK) distributes electricity in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The stock pays a yield of 5.3%, has a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 17.8 and a forward PE of 13.4.

    Westar Energy (WR) also pays a decent yield, with a payout of 4.8%. It has a trailing P/E of 15 and forward PE of 13.5. The company serves the state of Kansas.

    Integrys Energy Group (TEG), based in Chicago, trades at 13.8 times earnings and 14.4 times forward earnings and pays 5.2%.

    For more top-yielding utilities, including one which yields more than 6%, you can access a free downloadable Excel database of WSNN.com.

    At the time of writing, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

    Fred Fuld III, the publisher of stock and bond investing blog Stockerblog and founder of WallStreetNewsNetwork, has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years, working as an investment advisor, options market maker at the Pacific Stock Exchange, vice president of a San Francisco money management firm, university faculty member and wholesaler for the New Alternatives Fund (the first environmentally conscious mutual fund). He is the author of the books Investing in Brazil Stocks and The Green Light on Green Stocks.