Business Overview

Business Overview

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is America's premier energy company with some 44,000 megawatts of generating capacity and 1,500 billion cubic feet of combined natural gas consumption and throughput volume serving 9 million electric and gas utility customers through its subsidiaries. Operations include nearly 200,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines and more than 80,000 miles of natural gas pipeline.

The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric utilities in four states, natural gas distribution utilities in seven states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America and nationally recognized provider of energy solutions, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications.

Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices that are below the national average. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, the company and its subsidiaries are inventing America's energy future by developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency, and creating new products and services for the benefit of customers.

Electric Utilities

Our four traditional electric utilities — Alabama PowerGeorgia PowerGulf Power, and Mississippi Power — serve more than 4.5 million retail customers. These subsidiaries provide retail electric service and are regulated by federal energy agencies and the public service commissions in the states they serve. The state commissions determine fair electric rates, oversee what project costs (such as those associated with environmental controls or plant construction) can be recovered and define the profit margin utilities can make in retail markets.

Independent customer satisfaction surveys are a key performance indicator for our electric utilities, which consistently rank in the top quartile in both the American Customer Service Satisfaction Index and the JD Power & Associates Electric Utility Rankings.

Southern Power

Subsidiary Southern Power is a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider that helps satisfy the electricity needs of municipalities, electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities and other energy customers who serve more than 40 million customers across the country. Southern Power and its subsidiaries own or have the rights to 39 facilities operating or under construction with more than 10,800 megawatts of generating capacity in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.

Southern Company Gas

Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.5 million retail customers in seven states through utility subsidiaries Nicor Gas in Illinois, Atlanta Gas Light in Georgia, Virginia Natural Gas in Virginia, Elizabethtown Gas in New Jersey, Florida City Gas in Florida, Chattanooga Gas in Tennessee and Elkton Gas in Maryland.

Serving 0.6 million energy customers and holding 1.2 million warranty and leasing contracts, the retail operations segment of Southern Company Gas includes businesses that market natural gas or sell related home services to retail customers. The Houston-based wholesale services segment engages in natural gas sales and supply services, storage and capacity optimization, natural gas asset management and/or related logistics services for most of the company's utilities, as well as for non-affiliated utilities, producers, industrials and power generators. The midstream operations segment owns and operates non-utility storage and pipeline facilities, including high-deliverability underground natural gas storage and pipeline assets.


PowerSecure is a leading provider of utility and energy technologies to electric utilities and industrial, institutional and commercial customers. The company provides products and services in the areas of Interactive Distributed Generation (IDG®), energy efficiency and utility infrastructure.

PowerSecure is a pioneer in developing IDG power systems with sophisticated smart grid capabilities, including the ability to forecast demand and electronically deploy systems to deliver more efficient and environmentally friendly power at peak times, the ability to provide utilities with dedicated generation capacity for demand response purposes and the ability to provide customers with dependable standby power.

The company's proprietary distributed generation system designs utilize a range of technologies to deliver power, including renewables like wind and solar. Its energy efficiency products and services include LED lighting technologies, the installation and maintenance of energy conservation measures, as well as transmission and distribution infrastructure and maintenance services and engineering and regulatory consulting services for utilities.

Other Subsidiaries



Other major subsidiaries and business units include Southern Nuclear, the licensed operator of Southern Company's three nuclear generating plants in Alabama and Georgia; SouthernLinc Wireless, a communications network with a 127,000-square-mile coverage area in the Southeast; and Southern Telecom, a fiber optic wholesaler in the Southeast.



To operate successfully, we balance the earnings interests of shareholders; rates and reliability interests of customers; growth and impact interests of communities; and policy interests of regulators. Contingent upon financial success, we have the operating income to meet our environmental, workplace, and community responsibilities.


Southern Company is an investor-owned public company managed by a chief executive officer accountable to a board of directors. A management council made up of senior executives at Southern Company and its subsidiaries reports to the CEO. We perform succession planning to identify and develop employees for leadership roles. Visit our investor relations website for our current directors and management council members.

The Board of Directors oversees the management of the company's business. To fulfill its responsibilities and discharge its duty to shareholders, the Board of Directors follows the procedures and standards set forth in our governance guidelines. Guidelines include:

  • Southern Company must have a majority of independent directors. (Currently, only CEO Tom Fanning is a director of the company.)
  • The board establishes committees to help accomplish its responsibilities. All committees—audit, compensation and management succession, finance, governance and nuclear/operations—are composed entirely of independent directors.
  • The audit and nuclear/operations committees oversee environmental compliance. Broader environmental policy is discussed by the entire board.
  • The governance committee evaluates the expertise and needs of the board at least annually to determine its proper membership and size.


Stakeholders are those who are, or could be, affected by our operations. Stakeholders include:

  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Investors
  • Community Members
  • Suppliers
  • Non-Government Organizations
  • Regulators