Georgia Power rate case decision announced; Outcome positive for customers and company

ATLANTA – Southern Company said today that its Georgia Power subsidiary has agreed to another three-year rate order with the Georgia Public Service Commission. The new accounting order which goes into effect Jan. 2 will reduce base rates by $118 million annually while allowing the company to earn a return on equity of between 10 percent and 12.95 percent annually. “Today’s decision will continue to keep Georgia Power’s retail rates below the national average while, at the same time, helping us attract the investment capital necessary to ensure a reliable supply of energy in a growing region,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Allen Franklin.

Under the new order -- which is in place until December 2004 -- the company will be allowed to earn up to 12.95 percent on its retail assets. Earnings above that threshold will be shared, with customers receiving two-thirds and the company the remaining one-third.

Today’s rate case settlement will be discussed in a conference call on Friday, Dec. 21 at 11 a.m. EST. Southern Company Chief Financial Officer Gale Klappa, Georgia Power Chief Executive Officer David Ratcliffe and Georgia Power Chief Financial Officer Tom Fanning will discuss the rate order. Investors, media and the public may listen to a live Webcast of the call at A replay of the Webcast will be available at the site for 10 days.

With nearly 4 million customers and more than 34,000 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 five electric utilities, a fast-growing competitive generation company and an energy services 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 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

Forward Looking Statement Disclosure: Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning Georgia Power’s keeping retail rates below national average and Southern Company`s ability to attract the investment capital necessary to insure a reliable supply of energy in a growing region. Southern Company cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Southern Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such indicated results will be realized.

The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Southern Company`s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000, and subsequent securities filings, could cause results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory change, including legislative and regulatory initiatives regarding deregulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry and also changes in environmental and other laws and regulations to which Southern Company and its subsidiaries are subject, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, including the EPA civil action against certain subsidiaries of Southern Company and the diversity litigation against certain subsidiaries of Southern Company; the effects, extent and timing of additional competition in the markets in which Southern Company`s subsidiaries operate; the impact of fluctuations in commodity prices, interest rates and customer demand; state and federal rate regulation in the United States; the performance of projects undertaken by the non-traditional business and the success of efforts to invest in and develop new opportunities; internal restructuring or other restructuring options that may be pursued; potential business strategies, including acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, which cannot be assured to be completed or beneficial to Southern Company or its subsidiaries; the effects of, and changes in, economic conditions in the areas in which Southern Company`s subsidiaries operate; the direct or indirect effects on Southern Company’s business resulting from the terrorist incidents on September 11, 2001, or any similar such incidents or responses to such incidents; financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts; the timing and acceptance of Southern Company`s new product and service offerings; the ability of Southern Company to obtain additional generating capacity at competitive prices; and weather and other natural phenomena.

# # #