With that in mind, we have established five distinct priorities for the next few years. In sum, we will:
- Stick to the fundamentals. We must continue to keep customers at the center of everything we do by providing the best combination of service, reliability and price competitiveness in the industry. Maintaining constructive relationships with regulators will preserve accessibility to capital, which we will use to better serve customers and communities.
- Achieve success with major construction projects. The expansion of Plant Vogtle represents more than just new generating capacity; it is the forward edge of a potential national renaissance for nuclear energy. While recent events in Japan have underscored the importance of sound, safe nuclear design, we remain committed to leading that movement. Meanwhile, the new generating facility in Kemper County, Miss., will pioneer technologies for using coal in a more economic, reliable and environmentally friendly way.
- Support the building of a national energy policy. A variety of fuel sources will be needed to maintain the flow of electricity, which we believe is the lifeblood of the national economy. To help achieve that outcome, we will engage
in constructive dialogue with government agencies while undertaking serious, cutting-edge research into ways to make electricity cleaner and more affordable.
- Promote smart energy. We will continue our long history of leadership in the development of emerging technologies that benefit customers. This includes new forms of generation, more reliable distribution methods and innovations that give customers more influence over their electricity use.
- Value and develop our people. We must continue to build a diverse workforce of innovative thinkers and encourage their personal and professional growth. New ideas will push us to new heights, and we must be prepared to cultivate and harvest that intellectual energy.
It’s a tall order. But it’s the kind of thing we do, and have always done, at Southern Company. Our track record – with its focus on customer satisfaction, industry-leading reliability and prices below the national average – speaks for itself. Far from being intimidated by the challenges we face, we are energized by them. And we will use that energy to fuel our ambition of providing exceptional shareholder value with the best risk-adjusted return in the industry. I thank you for your continued confidence in Southern Company, and look forward to serving you.
Thomas A. Fanning
March 28, 2011