If that's true, then APC counts as an electrical utility, too... They're CHARGING ME for their device that just takes utility power in, and pushes it back out! What a scam UPSes are!
Datacenters charge for space, security, remote-hands services, power, cooling, etc. It just so happens that power happens to be the bottleneck these days, and also the single best proxy for their operating costs...
How much power you will draw indicates how many lines they need to run, how much cooling capacity they need on-hand, how much they need to beef-up their battery-bank, and how many generators they need to have ready to go on-line.
The NYT calls it a scam that you pay for the power you have available, even if you don't use it... I'm somewhat sympathetic, having just gone through having to pay thousands for a couple new PDUs to be connected, all for the sake of one server that really needed it.
But on the other hand, power use is dynamic, and the datacenter can't closely police your usage... If power was usage-priced, I'm sure all those cloud-service providers would colo in rented datacenter space for next to nothing, with all their servers shut off, and then during peak load, network outage, or high temperatures in their own passively cooled datacenters, they could suddenly power up thousands of servers, and the datacenter would be on the hook for having the power infrastructure and cooling capacity to handle that, even though they weren't getting paid for all that standby equipment until it was put into service.
The only decent point the NYT article makes is that datacenters are trying to use a loophole to get out of paying taxes. Sucks wherever it happens, and the solution is to close those loopholes, not forcibly reclassify various businesses that don't nicely fit into previous definitions.