Southern Company recognized for customer satisfaction among business customers

ATLANTA – For the sixth consecutive year, Southern Company ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction for electric service to business customers in the southern United States, according to the 2005 J.D. Power and Associates Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction StudySM.

The expanded study, now in its second year, is based on interviews with representatives of more than 11,000 U.S. businesses that spend between $500 and $50,000 monthly on electricity. Overall customer satisfaction is based on six key factors: power quality and reliability; customer service; company image; billing and payment; price and communications. Southern Company received the highest customer satisfaction index score in the South region with particularly high ratings in the areas of price and company image.

“We’re focused on meeting the needs of our customers, as the study results indicate,” said Leonard Haynes, chief marketing officer for Southern Company. “We are honored to again receive this recognition from J.D. Power and Associates, because it reflects the hard work that every employee puts into ensuring that our customers are our top priority.”

In the J.D. Power study, the South region led all regions in every satisfaction component. Despite the hurricanes that battered Florida in 2004, businesses perceived that Florida utilities handled power restoration well, and the scores reflect a small improvement in power quality and reliability ratings.

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting and customer satisfaction. The firm’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on actual customer responses.

With more than 4 million customers and nearly 39,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier super-regional energy company in the Southeast and a leading U.S. producer of electricity. Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states, a growing competitive generation company and a competitive retail natural gas business, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are 15 percent below the national average. Southern Company has been ranked the nation’s top energy utility in the American Customer Satisfaction Index five years in a row. Southern Company has more than 500,000 shareholders, making its common stock one of the most widely held in the United States. Visit the Southern Company Web site at