Business Overview

Serving the Southeast

Southern Company's principal business is to make, move and sell electricity.

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, operations include generation plants, high-voltage transmission lines, low-voltage distribution lines and customer sales and service. Our competitive generation company also constructs, acquires and manages generation assets and sells electricity on the wholesale market.

Southern Company subsidiaries provide retail electric service as regulated by the public service commissions in the states we serve and by federal energy agencies. Public service commissions determine fair electric rates, oversee what project costs can be recovered (for environmental controls or plant construction) and define the profit margin utilities can make in retail markets. Our four traditional electric utilities — Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power — serve 4.4 million retail customers.

Meeting peak demand is a critical indication of transmission performance. The record peak of 40,870 megawatts occurred in 2007 with no emergencies or alerts. See Peak Demand »

Independent customer satisfaction surveys are the key performance indicator for electric service. See the American Customer Service Satisfaction Index and the JD Power & Associates Electric Utility Rankings where we consistently rank above average and in the top quartile.

Southern Power, our higher-growth competitive wholesale generation business, comprises approximately 9,000 megawatts. Southern Company subsidiaries also sell power in the wholesale market and transmit wholesale power for other providers. In all, Southern Company generation serves a 73 investor-owned utilities, electric cooperatives, and municipalities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, the Carolinas, Texas, New Mexico and California.

Southern Company has responsibility for approximately $6.2 billion in transmission assets, including approximately 27,000 miles of transmission lines, 3,300 substations and 300,000 acres of right of way. The transmission system plans, designs, builds, operates and maintains a safe and reliable grid meeting North American Electric Reliability Council standards.

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. With financial success, we have the operating income to meet our environmental, workplace, and community responsibilities.

More about energy innovation.
More about electricity generation performance.

Governance

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) 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.

More on...

Key Impacts, Risks, Opportunities | CEO Viewpoint | Strategy | Performance | Economic Development | GRI Index plus Keywords