Alabama Power unveils Innovation Team

In conjunction with Innovation Week Birmingham, Alabama Power today announced the creation of an Innovation Team that will explore new opportunities for the company to better serve customers and the state.

The Innovation Team is a multidisciplinary group that includes experienced employees from the company’s marketing, finance, information technology, regulatory and communications organizations. The team will examine a variety of new products, services and business lines, both inside and outside the company’s traditional, energy-related focus. It will seek ideas from customers on new products and services they would like the company to consider.

“Our state, our industry and our world are changing dramatically. It is both a challenge and an opportunity for us,” said Mark Crosswhite, Alabama Power chairman, president and CEO.

“The founders of Alabama Power were courageous innovators, building the state’s electric infrastructure before many Alabamians knew they wanted electric service,” Crosswhite said. “Our new Innovation Team is working in that same spirit – exploring ways we can better serve our customers and our state in the decades ahead.”

Alabama Power has taken several innovative steps this year to better meet the evolving needs of customers:

  • In June, the company proposed adding up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy. Pending before the Alabama Public Service Commission, the proposal would provide the company with the flexibility to work directly with commercial and industrial customers and the military to meet their needs in connection with renewable energy projects, including solar.

The company has launched a pilot program in areas of Mobile and Birmingham, allowing customers to sign up for home automation. The program lets customers operate lights and thermostats in their homes from anywhere, using their smartphones.  

  • The company is working to install infrastructure to support zero-emission, plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). The company has installed more than 75 charging stations at Alabama Power locations across the state for its growing electric-vehicle fleet. The company offers rebates to customers purchasing or leasing PEVs and a discount on their electricity during overnight hours, when electric vehicles are typically charged. Commercial customers that install electric-vehicle charging stations can receive a partial rebate on station installation costs.
  • The company has launched a revised, digital communications platform – Alabama NewsCenter – to better engage with customers by providing them compelling digital content about the company and the state. You can find Alabama NewsCenter at

The independent Alabama Power Foundation is also exploring innovative ways to utilize philanthropic strategies to spur economic development and entrepreneurship and help tackle the state’s major challenges, such as alleviating poverty and improving education. For example, the foundation joined with the nationally recognized Venture for America (VFA) fellowship program to bring it to Alabama. Last month, VFA fellows joined four growth-minded and startup companies in Birmingham to help them identify market opportunities and create jobs. The foundation’s Elevate program is also focused on identifying new ways to address Alabama’s toughest challenges by helping nonprofits collaborate, build capacity and become more effective. This year, Elevate added a technology component to help nonprofits upgrade software and improve their technological capabilities so they can better serve clients.

Innovation Week Birmingham, which kicks off today and runs through Sept. 4, is an annual celebration of the city’s inventors, investors, entrepreneurs, supporters and catalysts. Events will highlight organizations, companies and initiatives that contribute to Birmingham’s growing, knowledge economy. Participants in Innovation Week Birmingham include Alabama Launchpad, the Birmingham Business Alliance, Birmingham Venture Club, Innovation Depot, REV Birmingham and TechBirmingham. Learn more at

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), provides reliable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers at a total retail price that has been below the national average for decades. Learn more at