Lines to Everyone. Lines leaving this plant follow the horizon. Art Beattie, Southern Company CFO, discusses the horizon for residential, commercial and industrial generation in 2011. Click to play
The economy is kind of a bifurcated economy. We've got the industrial economy is doing just great. Last year, our industrial sales for Southern Company increased almost eight percent over 2009. It was very much a V-shaped recovery.
But when you look at the residential and commercial markets, last year still struggled. Unemployment still is at a very high level. Consumer confidence is still struggling. And with a hundred dollar oil now, that was something that we hadn't planned for in our forecast this year, consumer confidence is still the key. In order for the economy to really begin rolling, the consumer has to get back into the game. And with unemployment at the nine to ten percent level in both Alabama and Georgia, we're still going to struggle in that regard.
We are very hopeful that the expanding industrial economy will begin to sow seeds of growth in the other areas of the economy, in terms of lower unemployment rates. As we move forward, we should see some better usage in our residential and commercial accounts
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 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 48,870 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 about 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.
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 to discharge its duty to shareholders, the Board of Directors follows the procedures and standards that are set forth in our governance guidelines. Guidelines include:
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Southern Company seeks to provide electricity to its customers with outstanding reliability and superior service at competitive prices. These commitments are delivered as we:
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