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Net Zero Transition

Commitment to GHG Emissions Reduction

Southern Company is committed to reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to provide our customers and communities a clean energy future. Climate change is real, and the Paris Agreement is an opportunity for the U.S. to engage in a coordinated, global strategy to address the threat of climate change. We support this objective by actively advancing a net zero by 2050 goal in direct alignment with the commitments of this landmark accord. We also have an interim target to achieve 50% GHG emissions reduction by 2030 relative to 2007 levels.

Southern Company is proud of our recent progress in reducing GHG emissions. For 2021, our system’s GHG emissions are estimated to be 47% below the 2007 benchmark level, and we expect to sustainably achieve 50% GHG emissions reduction relative to our 2007 benchmark no later than 2025.*

We expect to sustainably achieve 50% GHG emissions reduction relative to our 2007 benchmark no later then 2025

Our net zero goal includes direct GHG emissions across our electric and natural gas businesses. To reach net zero by 2050, Southern Company is focused on transitioning our generating fleet and making the necessary related investments in our transmission and distribution (T&D) grids. We have substantially reduced both total GHG emissions and GHG intensity relative to our 2007 benchmark year, while maintaining outstanding reliability and affordability for our customers.

Southern Company’s decarbonization strategy considers both direct and indirect emissions reductions. Drivers for direct emissions reduction include: reduced reliance on coal-fired generating assets, use of natural gas to enable the low-carbon energy transition, further growth in our portfolio of zero-carbon resources, enhanced energy efficiency initiatives, negative carbon solutions and continued investment in research and development (R&D) of clean energy technologies. While our net zero goal is focused on direct emissions, we are also committed to reducing emissions across our full value chain through engagement, energy efficiency measures and partnerships with customers, suppliers and other organizations. We currently report all material Scope 1 and 2 emissions and have engaged an independent auditor to provide 3rd party verification for the years 2020 and 2021. We also continue to assess and expand Scope 3 reporting, including working with a consultant to better understand our upstream and downstream emissions from natural gas.

GHG emissions can fluctuate with electricity demand, fuel prices, and other variables outside Southern Company’s control. Electricity demand in 2020 was reduced by COVID-19 impacts and mild weather. In addition, low natural gas prices in 2020 gave the natural gas generating fleet favorable economics relative to most coal units, displacing additional coal generation. 2021 emissions are estimated and will be finalized later in 2022.

Enhanced Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Reporting

In its 2022 CDP Climate response, Southern Company reported all major sources of GHG emissions for direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2 & 3) emissions.

  • Additions to reporting include expanded reporting of upstream indirect fuel emissions estimates including upstream natural gas for both electric and gas distribution companies (Scope 3).
  • Southern Company also for the first time obtained independent third-party limited assurance of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.
  • Southern Company reports its GHG emissions consistent with the EPA’s GHG Reporting Program and the World Resources Institute (WRI) GHG Protocol equity share approach. WRI released draft guidance in 3Q 2022 that for the first time includes methane emissions from reservoirs; that guidance is expected to be finalized in 2Q 2023. WRI is also in the early stages of revising the scope 2 and scope 3 protocols. Southern Company will evaluate updated guidance and revisions when they are available.

Key elements in our path to net zero:

  • Reduced reliance on coal-fired generating assets: Southern Company is committed to retiring and converting uneconomic coal-fired power generation assets across our footprint. We expect to continue to reduce coal capacity as market forces enable replacement with more economic low-carbon and zero-carbon resources. By the end of 2028, pending regulatory approval, we expect to have only eight coal units remaining, down from 66 in 2007.
  • Use of natural gas: We are thoughtfully considering the future optionality of natural gas resources in an increasingly carbon-constrained world. In the absence of significant technology advancement, we view natural gas as critical to reliable energy service and to the health, safety and comfort of the citizens and communities we serve.
    • As we deploy increasing amounts of renewable energy across our system, natural gas is required to maintain reliability for our electricity customers.
    • Many of our natural gas customers, especially those who use it for home heating in colder climates, require natural gas due to its affordability and efficiency.
  • Further growth in our portfolio of zero-carbon resources: We are committed to the expansion of our fleet of zero-carbon resources, including nuclear, solar, wind, storage and hydroelectric facilities. New and emerging technologies are improving the cost profile of many zero-carbon resources. Southern Company and its operating companies will continue to add carbon-free megawatts to our portfolio, taking into account affordability and reliability.
  • Enhanced energy efficiency initiatives: Our broad view of energy efficiency includes improving the efficiency of utilization and lowering the GHG impact of energy use. Examples include energy efficiency and demand response programs for our customers, the deployment of alternative fuels and the development of zero- and low-carbon transportation solutions.
  • Negative carbon solutions: We will begin to assess the efficacy of removing carbon through natural systems, with a primary focus on natural spaces in our local communities. We will also focus on technologies such as direct air capture as well as technology-enhanced natural solutions for CO2 removal.
  • Continued investment in R&D of clean energy technologies: Our commitment to a net zero future will demand the development of transformational technology solutions and their integration throughout our business. Our focus is to deliver technologies that reduce GHG emissions while increasing customer value and providing affordable energy in the optimal technology timeline.

Energy Portfolio Transition / Decarbonization

When Southern Company considers our energy portfolio transition and decarbonization strategy, we must evaluate a wide range of factors. In addition to environmental benefits, we also consider the potential opportunities and challenges for our customers, communities and employees. It is important that we take a holistic approach so all our stakeholders can benefit from this transition. Three tenets shape our holistic approach to GHG reduction: a diversified energy resource portfolio, the critical importance of R&D and constructive stakeholder engagement and scenario planning.

solar, wind, and gas power Diverse Energy Resource Portfolio

Diverse Energy Resource Portfolio

As we transition to net zero, we believe having a diversified energy portfolio is crucial to reducing emissions while maintaining reliability and affordability. Since 2007, we have significantly reduced our reliance on coal-fired generation, meaningfully increased generation from zero-carbon resources and made strategic decisions around our use of natural gas.

Electric Operating Companies

Across both our regulated and unregulated subsidiaries, we are committed to increasing our renewable and carbon-free generation footprint. In 2021, nearly one-third of our energy supply from electric generation came from zero-carbon sources, including solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, hydro and nuclear. Southern Power and its subsidiaries, some of which are owned in part with various partners, own or operate approximately 12,500 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity in 14 states, including approximately 5,000 MWs of wind, solar and energy storage. In addition, Georgia Power plans to have approximately 5,500 MW of renewable energy resources by the end of 2025, comprising approximately 22 percent of the company’s generation mix. Georgia Power filed its 2022 Integrated Resource Plan with the Georgia PSC in January 2022, which includes additional information about coal fired generating unit retirements, new capacity requests beyond 2025 and customer-focused efficiency programs. Alabama Power and Mississippi Power continue to increase the renewable resources available in their portfolios to adapt to customer preferences. Southern Nuclear also operates a sizeable fleet of clean, reliable nuclear units, which will grow with the addition of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 currently under construction.

Annual Energy Mix chart notes:

  • Energy mix percentages include non-affliliate purchase agreements.
  • Renewables/Other category includes wind, solar, hydro, biomass, and landfill gas.
  • Energy mix represents all of the energy the Southern Company system uses to serve its retail and wholesale customers. It is not meant to represent delivered energy mix to any particular retail customer or class of customers.
  • With respect to renewable generation and associated renewable energy credits (RECs), to the extent an affiliate of Southern Company has the right to the RECs associated with renewable energy it generates or purchases, it retains the right to sell the energy and RECs, either bundled or separately, to retail customers and third parties.

Southern Company continues to reduce the number of generating units in our coal fleet, lowering emissions and retiring uneconomic resources. When considering retirements and conversions that have already been implemented by our electric operating companies as well as expected future retirements or conversions that have been filed with state environmental and/or regulatory agencies, we expect to have just eight coal units remaining in our generating fleet with a nameplate capacity of less than 4,500 MWs by the end of 2028. Compared to 2007, this represents an 88% reduction in the number of coal units and a 78% reduction in coal nameplate capacity operated by Southern Company. Importantly, we continue to prioritize the well-being of our employees and communities by focusing on a Just Transition as we seek to accomplish significant reductions in a relatively short timeframe.

Reflects Effluent Limitations Guidelines (ELG) compliance filings made by Southern Company's traditional electric operating companies, as well as the 2021 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for Mississippi Power and the 2022 IRP for Georgia Power. Units are expected to be either retired or repowered to burn natural gas during peak loads. Minority ownership units are subject to compliance decisions made by majority owners.
*For 2028, regulatory approvals have already been received to reduce the total number of coal generating units to 10. In its 2022 IRP, Georgia Power requested to retire Plant Bowen Units 1&2 by 2028 and expects this request to be considered in future regulatory proceedings. In addition, Georgia Power’s planning assumption includes the retirement of Plant Bowen Units 3&4 by 2035, which would also require regulatory approval.

As we look ahead and consider generating resources that will be needed to replace retiring assets and support growth in our service territories, we will continue to rely on our robust integrated resource planning. While our planning scenarios can change modestly year-to-year, based on the current cost and availability of technologies and a range of economic scenarios, we expect that incremental generation needs across our service territories over the coming decade will be met largely through a combination of natural gas, renewable resources and energy storage, as well as the nuclear capacity under construction at Plant Vogtle Units 3 & 4.

Our footprint of zero-carbon resources continues to grow at both our regulated utilities and our unregulated subsidiary, Southern Power.

  • Southern Company is the fourth largest owner of renewable resources in the United States. Our Southern Power subsidiary owns wind, solar and energy storage resources across the U.S. and is a trusted wholesale energy partner for municipalities, electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities, and commercial and industrial customers. In addition, we are adding renewables and battery storage through owned resources and power purchase agreements at our regulated electric utilities. To support our capital needs related to the transition, in January 2021, Southern Company became the first large-cap U.S. utility to issue a Sustainable Financing Framework. The Framework aligns with our sustainability goals and transition to a net zero-future. Through our subsidiaries Southern Power and Georgia Power, the Southern Company system has issued 8 series of sustainable bonds totaling nearly $3.9 billion since 2015. 

Includes owned and contracted resources including 100% capacity for jointly owned projects. With respect to renewable generation and associated renewable energy credits (RECs), to the extent an affiliate of Southern Company has the right to the RECs associated with renewable energy it generates or purchases, it retains the right to sell the energy and RECs, either bundled or separately, to retail customers or third parties. Other includes battery storage, landfill gas and biomass.
*Future estimates include owned and contracted capacity that have received regulatory approval. Additional renewable resources could be added prior to 2030 at Southern Power or at our operating companies, should they be proposed and approved through regulatory processes.

  • Georgia Power is constructing the first new nuclear units in the U.S. in over three decades at Plant Vogtle Units 3 & 4. These new units will generate enough carbon-free electricity to power 500,000 homes and businesses with an expected life of 60 to 80 years.

    As noted above, we expect Southern Company’s generating fleet will continue to rely on natural gas resources to support reliability and affordability as we transition our fleet in keeping with our net zero goal. In its 2021 Long-Term Reliability Assessment, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) concluded that managing the transformation of the grid and the associated rapid change to the resource mix is the greatest challenge to reliability over the next 10 years. We are mindful of our GHG emission reduction goals, and we seek to minimize the risk of stranded assets as we consider decisions to construct, acquire or contract through power purchase agreements for natural gas generation.

Southern Power’s Skookumchuck Wind Facility

The Skookumchuck Wind Facility, which entered commercial operation in 2020, is Southern Power’s first wind energy facility in Washington and is a great addition to Southern Company’s growing renewable fleet. At a total capacity of 136 MWs, the 38 wind turbines will direct clean energy to municipalities, cooperatives, investor-owned utilities and other commercial customers to meet their growing energy demand. 

To see more about this facility, visit here.

Gas Distribution Companies

Our decarbonization journey is not limited to our electric generation portfolio. We serve 4.3 million customers who rely on our affordable natural gas for home heating and other residential, commercial and industrial uses. Our natural gas businesses are seeking opportunities to: continue to drive down methane and other GHG emissions from operations; support efficient use of energy by our customers; and leverage our existing infrastructure for new, lower-carbon sources of gas, like sustainably sourced geologic natural gas – Next Generation Natural Gas – and renewable natural gas.

Lowering Methane Emissions through Value Chain Engagement and Virginia Natural Gas

In late 2019, Virginia Natural Gas (VNG), a subsidiary of Southern Company Gas, announced its plan to seek opportunities to provide its customers with natural gas that is sourced, transported and distributed by companies that have pledged to reduce methane emissions to less than 1% across the natural gas value chain. As a down payment on that pledge, the company began purchasing 20% of its customers’ annual natural gas supply from select, low fugitive emission wells, making a “well head to burner tip” supply chain of low fugitive emission gas for customers.

Both Southern Company Gas and Southern Company’s electric operations have updated their natural gas bid selection process to offer a competitive edge to natural gas suppliers committed to reducing fugitive methane emissions. In 2021, Southern Company Gas updated and expanded its bid selection process to seek additional ESG information from suppliers and increased its purchases of Next Generation Natural Gas.

For more information, visit here.

At Southern Company Gas, we have invested more than $2 billion in pipeline infrastructure replacements and improvements over more than two decades. Over this time, we replaced over 6,000 miles of unprotected steel and cast-iron pipes with state-of-the-art corrosion-resistant pipes, while also replacing over 800 miles of pre-1974 plastic pipe. This not only provided tremendous reliability and safety benefits, but also helped us reduce annual methane emissions from our distribution system by approximately 50% – even as the system grew by more than 20%.

Looking to the future, Southern Company Gas is implementing initiatives to support emissions reductions across the natural gas value chain. Initiatives include seeking opportunities to: reduce upstream emissions associated with the exploration, production and transportation of natural gas through sustainable gas supply efforts; decrease operational emissions in support of our net zero goal; and reduce end-use emissions through empowering our customers with sustainability solutions.

Southern Company Gas has reduced annual methane emissions from our distribution system by approximately 50% — even as the system grew by more than 20%.

Please review Southern Company Gas’ Sustainability Report to learn more.

Research and Development

Research and Development

Southern Company actively engages in robust, industry-leading R&D that grows the value of energy services to customers. A low-carbon future will require developing new and more cost-effective energy production, delivery and use technologies. A major portion of our current R&D spend is focused on lower carbon-emitting technologies. Southern Company R&D actively collaborates with other utilities, universities, technology developers and industry organizations, allowing us to highly leverage both funding and expertise. By managing public-private partnerships and other forms of external cost-sharing, Southern Company’s R&D team magnifies the value of the company’s R&D investment for our customers many times over. 

For more than a decade, Southern Company has been managing and operating the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Carbon Capture Center in Wilsonville, Alabama. This world-class facility works with innovators from around the world to accelerate the development of technologies to reduce GHG emissions from fossil fuel-based power plants and to promote carbon utilization and direct air capture solutions. The center has tested approximately 70 technologies that have already reduced the projected cost of carbon capture from fossil –fuel-powered generation by approximately 40%, and further reductions are expected from testing natural gas-fueled power plant carbon capture technologies. This research also includes evolving negative-carbon concepts, direct air capture and bioenergy technologies coupled with carbon utilization and storage for carbon removal. 

We also continue to work strategically with partners to advance next-generation nuclear technology. Through a public-private partnership in 2015, Southern Company and TerraPower were awarded approximately $40 million from the DOE to build integrated infrastructure necessary to support early development of Molten Chloride Fast Reactor technology. In 2021, Southern Company signed an agreement with the DOE to demonstrate the world’s first fast-spectrum salt reactor in collaboration with TerraPower and Idaho National Laboratory.  

We are also focused on solutions that can help our natural gas business reach net zero, including R&D related to hydrogen blending. For example, Southern Company and our Southern Company Gas subsidiary helped to start a new R&D initiative, known as HyBlendTM, to address the technical barriers to blending hydrogen in natural gas infrastructure and study life-cycle emissions of hydrogen blends. As the leading utility sponsor, Southern Company Gas will spearhead the initiative. The HyBlendTM project will utilize expertise in Southern Company’s industry-leading R&D organization, along with industry partners, research consortia, academia and national laboratories, and will encompass more than $15 million in hydrogen research. 

For more information on our R&D initiatives, please see our Research and Development page. 

Constructive Stakeholder Engagement & Scenario Planning

Constructive Stakeholder Engagement & Scenario Planning

As a leading energy company, we believe effective communication with our customers, employees, communities, policymakers and other stakeholders is imperative to our business success and to meeting our decarbonization goals. 

In particular, the development of constructive energy policy and regulation at both the state and federal levels is essential to executing our customer-centric business model. We engage with policymakers to help shape durable energy and climate policies that support developing and deploying more low-carbon and carbon-free energy resources while ensuring that each state we serve retains the ability to adequately plan and deploy resources that meet the needs of its citizens and communities. In the United States, we need support from policymakers and regulators to develop policies that will support an efficient, reliable and affordable transition to a net zero future. 

Scenario Planning

A core element underpinning Southern Company’s decarbonization strategy for our electric utilities is our scenario-based integrated resource planning process and related regulatory reviews. Our electric operating companies and our natural gas distribution companies are subject to the jurisdiction of their respective state Public Service Commissions (PSCs) and state environmental agencies. PSCs have broad regulatory authority over the companies, including approval of new supply-side and demand-side resources and related cost recovery rates, while environmental agencies are charged with the enforcement of each state’s environmental policies. 

At varying frequencies and under a variety of circumstances, the electric operating companies file with their respective PSCs economic analyses of recommendations or decisions using the scenario planning process. Southern Company’s scenario planning process, which has been in place since 2008, helps to ensure that the right resources are deployed at the right time to maintain safety, reliability and affordability for customers. The planning process allows for updates to a number of assumptions, inputs and alternatives, including potential CO₂ prices, fuel and other commodity prices, as well as economic or other policy indicators. It also forms the foundation that each of our state-regulated utilities utilizes to work within their respective regulatory frameworks to ensure that carbon reduction efforts are in customers’ best interests over time.  

The scenarios indicated below, used in Mississippi Power’s 2021 Integrated Resource Plan filing with the Mississippi Public Service Commission, are indicative of the scenarios that we utilize in our system planning. As other subsidiaries file resource plans with their respective commissions, modified scenarios could be requested. 

For more information about Southern Company’s scenario planning, please review our carbon reports: Implementation and Action Toward Net Zero and Planning for a Low Carbon Future

Gathering input from stakeholders is also an important part of developing Southern Company’s strategy. We hold regular stakeholder forums, webinars, calls and meetings covering a range of topics, including our efforts to reduce GHG emissions, regulatory and policy issues, Just Transition, R&D efforts, system risk and planning related to renewables and energy efficiency, and climate-related lobbying efforts. External participants in these events include investors, environmental advocates, social justice advocates, community representatives and many others. Internal participants include members of our senior management, including Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, as well as subject matter experts. Independent members of our board of directors also participate in certain engagements.

For more information about Southern Company’s robust stakeholder outreach initiatives please review our Proxy Statement

Q&A: Coal Retirements

Q: Does Southern Company have a date certain by which it will retire its remaining coal-fired generating units?

A: Our electric operating companies and our natural gas distribution companies are subject to the jurisdiction of their respective state PSCs and state environmental agencies. Coal retirements and/or conversions, new generation recommendations, grid enhancements, energy efficiency initiatives and community impacts are some of the items considered under our scenario planning framework and reviewed by regulators. Our operating companies are committed to proposing and seeking approval of energy deployment options in each state jurisdiction's resource planning process that are supportive of customers’ and stakeholders’ needs and preferences and that coincide with our commitment to Net Zero by 2050. Georgia Power has requested to retire and decertify all Georgia Power-controlled coal units with the exception of Plant Bowen Units 3 & 4, which will continue to operate no later than 2035. To date, none of the three states where we operate electric utilities has enacted legislation or regulations to specifically regulate CO₂ emissions or mandates for certain levels of renewable resources. 

Energy Efficiency

It is critical that the Southern Company system maintains enough power generation capability and natural gas system capacity to serve the energy needs of all customers, particularly during hot days in the summer and cold days in the winter. Energy efficiency and demand response are key aspects of our efforts to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy to our communities. Both our electric and natural gas subsidiaries have longstanding programs providing education, incentives and options encouraging customers to optimize their energy usage.

In addition to these programs, we continue innovating to provide resources and rates that take advantage of the latest technology and cater to expanding customer needs. Southern Company is committed to making energy efficiency and demand response a part of our energy justice efforts to ensure all the communities we serve can reap the benefits of enhanced energy efficiency.

Southern Company subsidiaries’ retail electric energy efficiency programs help save nearly 400 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each year. These savings are the results of annual investments of more than $20 million to promote energy efficiency. Programs are designed to provide a variety of energy savings and appeal to a wide array of customer situations and use cases. Residential customers can access personalized information and education through check-ups, calculators, assessments and audits. Our operating companies provide energy saving equipment in kits, discounts for efficient products in stores and in online marketplaces, and rebates or credits for installing specific energy efficient technologies. Behavioral programs provide customers with information regarding their usage, peer comparisons and supply energy saving tips. These programs help engage customers, supply data and encourage ongoing energy management. 

The Southern Company system has long been an industry leader in demand response. In partnership with thousands of our residential, commercial and industrial customers who take part in our demand response offerings, we have the ability to reduce peak electrical demand by approximately 8%. This has resulted in the company avoiding construction of over 2,500 MWs of generation capacity since 2007. 

Our electric operating companies are not the only subsidiaries focused on energy efficiency. Southern Company Gas has some industry-leading energy efficiency programs that help our customers use gas more efficiently. 

For example, since 2011, Nicor Gas, a subsidiary of Southern Company Gas, has had one of the gas industry’s largest energy efficiency programs. Since 2011, this program has resulted in annual savings goals averaging 16 million therms per year, resulting in a corresponding reduction of more than 840,000 metric tons of customers’ CO2 emissions, roughly equal to the energy use of 100,000 homes for a year. Nicor Gas’ goal and resulting carbon reduction are the result of more than $40 million per year of investment. 

From 2022 through 2025, Nicor Gas’ Energy Efficiency Plan will invest approximately $183 million to help customers install more than 750,000 energy efficiency measures and over 80,000 energy efficiency retrofit and technical assistance projects in homes and businesses throughout northern Illinois. The plan will help customers save 660 million net therms over the lifetimes of the installed measures and projects. These savings are expected to reduce GHG emissions by over 3.2 million metric tons and water use by over 900 million gallons over the life of installed measures. 

Customer Sustainability Partnerships

We value the relationships we have built with our customers. We strive to help our customers achieve their sustainability goals, which in turn, helps us achieve ours. While Southern Company’s customer support offerings were historically geared toward process optimization and energy efficiency, we are transitioning toward services that more specifically target customers’ comprehensive sustainability goals, including air and water.

A specific example of customer sustainability partnerships is an initiative called Southern 360, a new way to work with our family of businesses. Southern 360 packages our energy expertise into solutions that make energy simple. Our goal is to provide energy solutions for a climate-ready future by assisting customer organizations in their achievement of sustainability, resiliency and net zero goals. Through Southern 360, we provide benchmarking, energy consumption data and analysis, prioritization, implementation, and custom advisory services. We are looking to roll this out more broadly in the first half of 2022. 

As part of this customer solution offering, Southern Company has worked closely with the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport to leverage their energy use performance data to revolutionize their sustainability program. The project helps the airport use real-time energy data to identify opportunities that improve energy performance, expanding its sustainability program and achieving top-tier success in sustainability. The program’s outputs have helped contribute to the airport’s 2035 Sustainability Master Plan, including plans to re-certify LEED status, obtain airport carbon accreditation, enhance ESG reporting and obtain ISO 50001 certification – all of which will help Hartsfield-Jackson advance its sustainability goals.

Alabama Power has partnered with customers to construct 250 megawatts (MWs) of solar generating capacity across the state. Solar facilities at the Anniston Army Depot, Fort Rucker and in LaFayette all went into commercial operation in 2017, and in 2021 Alabama Power announced new solar facilities to serve Wells Fargo and Mercedes Benz. The Mercedes Benz project, an 80 MW facility called the Letohatchee Solar Project in Lowndes County, located south of Montgomery, builds on a long-standing partnership between Alabama Power and Mercedes Benz and aligns with the shared vision of enhancing the use of renewable energy. The Letohatchee Solar Project is expected to create about 300 construction jobs while generating more than $9 million in tax revenues for Lowndes County over the life of the project. Commercial operation is expected to begin in 2024.

In 2021, Nicor Gas received approval to launch the TotalGreen pilot program. TotalGreen is a new gas service that will enable Nicor Gas sales customers to participate in a program that bundles their natural gas purchase with environmental attributes from renewable natural gas (RNG) and carbon offsets to effectively offset the total net carbon emissions of their natural gas usage. This program demonstrates Nicor Gas’ commitment to helping customers meet their environmental goals. 

Just Transition

As we transition to a clean energy future, we understand there will be potential opportunities and challenges for our workforce, communities and customers. Southern Company is committed to a Just Transition for our stakeholders. 

We have outlined a set of Just Transition Principles that foster:

  • Strong governance
  • Effective stakeholder engagement and transparent communication
  • Employee support and coordination with labor unions
  • Ongoing community and environmental commitment
  • Continued safety, reliability, resilience and affordability

In recent years, we have seen in other regions and countries the unintended consequences and disruption caused by rapid or unstructured infrastructure transitions. Southern Company believes that our electric utilities’ vertically integrated, state-regulated model with integrated system planning is optimal for advancing decarbonization of our operations while maintaining system integrity and affordability for customers. This structure, coupled with our longstanding commitment to be a “Citizen Wherever We Serve,” provides a strong foundation for Southern  Company and our operating companies to help  facilitate a Just Transition.

In our 2022 Just Transition report, we outline our Just Transition Principles and provide examples, based on prior coal-fired generating asset retirements, of our work with employees, labor partners, communities and local governments to effect a smooth transition. We believe that our principles and historical examples align with the spirit and intentions outlined in the ILO’s Just Transition guidelines and the Just Transition Declaration put in place at COP26.