Large corporations, such as RWE in Germany and Suez and Vivendi of France, are promoting the multi-utility concept, a recent trend in the utility sector in which one company provides various utility services. The combined production of these services promises to reap efficiency gains and to improve customer focus, making the multi-utility concept attractive to providers and customers. But do the advantages of the "new" concept materialise in reality? What can be learned from German multi-utilities on the municipal level, combining electricity, water, gas, district heating or public transport within one city, which have existed in Germany for more than one hundred years? Where are the important synergies of an integrated provision of utility services?