SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southern Company (SO) is an energy company providing electric and gas service to nine million customers across the United States through its subsidiaries. The company is focused on making, moving, and selling reliable, low-cost energy solutions from traditional and renewable power sources, as well as providing superior customer service. Recognizing the rapid evolution of the energy sector, including new technologies, customer preferences, and environmental, social, and governance initiatives, Southern Company is working to advance its solar, wind, and nuclear holdings, develop microgrids, and significantly reduce its system's greenhouse gas emissions.
- Serving 9 million customers through 7 subsidiaries across the U.S.
- 288 consecutive quarterly dividends equal to or greater than those in the previous quarter (more than 70 years)
- Approximately 44,000 megawatt generating capacity
- Developing microgrids and deploying energy storage systems throughout the U.S.
- Subsidiary Southern Power provides 11,300 MW of wholesale solar, wind, fuel cell and natural gas generation in 13 states
- Subsidiary PowerSecure provides distributed infrastructure technologies in 32 states
Advisor Access spoke with Southern Company’s chairman, president and CEO, Tom Fanning, about the company’s business model, culture, and plans for future growth.
Advisor Access: Let’s start with the basics. Please describe Southern Company’s core business and strategy.
Tom Fanning: Southern Company is a leading energy company serving nine million customers through our subsidiaries. Clean, safe, reliable, and affordable are the benchmarks we use to evaluate our value proposition to customers. We do this through electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America, and a leading distributed energy infrastructure company…
AA: A tagline for the Company is “building the future of energy.” What does this mean for Southern Company and why is it important?
TF: Innovation represents an enormous advantage for Southern Company. Southern Company remains the only company in America, in our industry, that does proprietary, robust research and development. In fact, this year was a milestone year for Southern Company’s research and development organization as we celebrated our fiftieth year of leading industry innovation.
Our efforts have a simple goal: increase the value of energy to our customers…
AA: Southern Company has a very robust capital investment plan over the next several years. Could you talk a little bit about what you are investing in?
TF: While the Vogtle Unit 3 & 4 nuclear construction project is very important for Southern Company, and certainly garners a great deal of interest from investors, it only represents about 10% of our $38 billion capital investment plan over the next five years. This capital investment plan, which supports our 4–6% earnings per share growth objective, is primarily comprised of regulated investment, with 95% of investments being made through our seven state-regulated electric and gas subsidiaries…
AA: Southern Company has paid a remarkable 288 consecutive quarterly dividends that have been equal to or greater than those in the previous quarter. Can you talk a bit about why the dividend is so important to Southern Company?
TF: This year represents our eighteenth consecutive annual dividend increase, and for seventy-one years—dating back to 1948—Southern Company has paid a dividend that was equal to or greater than that of the previous year. We have never decreased our dividend. This is a record we are very proud of…
AA: The energy mix of your portfolio has evolved dramatically over the last decade. Can you describe what has changed and why?
TF: Our generation portfolio has seen a drastic transformation over the past decade as our fleet has transitioned from coal to natural gas and renewable generation. Year-to-date 2019, generation from coal represents 22% of our total generating mix—down from nearly 70% of our generating mix in 2007…
AA: Southern Company’s subsidiaries consistently rank among the top of the industry with regards to customer satisfaction. Why is customer satisfaction so important to Southern Company?
TF: Our pledge to put the customer at the center of everything we do is the key to our success…
AA: Is there anything else you’d like investors to know about Southern Company?
TF: The energy sector is rapidly evolving, driven by innovation, technology advancements, customer preferences, resiliency efforts, and environmental, social, and governance initiatives. With evolution comes tremendous opportunity, and Southern Company, with our customer-centric business model, is well poised to provide continued value to our customers and communities in this changing landscape…
Read the complete answers to these questions and the full interview with SO HERE.
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