It's been a pretty rough year for stock investors, with the S&P basically ending flat in 2011. While the general market went nowhere last year, quite a few stocks poured in monster performances.

Utilities in general rose this past year, driven by stable businesses and strong dividends.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Utilities Sector Index Fund Total Return Price Chart

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Utilities Sector Index Fund Total Return Price Chart by YCharts

Here's a list of this year's top 15 performers in the utilities industry:



YTD Return

1 Transportadora de Gas Del Sur (NYSE: TGS)  78.5%
2 ONEOK (NYSE: OKE)  61.3%
3 PNM Resources  45.3%
4 NiSource (NYSE: NI)  40.5%
5 Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE: BIP)  39.7%
6 Cia Energetica de Minas Gerais (NYSE: CIG)  38.1%
7 CPFL Energia (NYSE: CPL)  36.5%
8 Progress Energy  36.3%
9 CenterPoint Energy  34.9%
10 Constellation Energy Group  33.7%
11 NorthWestern  32.8%
12 American Water Works  32.8%
13 Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED)  31.8%
14 El Paso Electric  31.6%
15 Dominion Resources  30.3%

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Only includes companies listed on U.S. exchanges with a market capitalization greater than $500 million.

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Unfortunately, Dan Dzombak does not own any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, Dominion Resources, and ONEOK. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.