Electric utility giant Southern Co. has been named the No. 1 electric utility in North America by Electric Light & Power magazine. The 90-year-old voice of the electric utility industry also announced two Utility CEOs of the Year: Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI) chairman of the board, president and CEO Joseph M. Rigby and Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) general manager Walter W. Haase.
Rigby, Haase and Southern Co. chairman of the board, president and CEO Thomas A. Fanning will accept their awards Jan. 27 in San Diego during the fourth annual Electric Light & Power Executive Conference, the executive preview of North America's No. 1 smart grid show, DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition.
"Southern Co. flourished in 2012 under Mr. Fanning's leadership," said Teresa Hansen, Electric Light & Power editor in chief. "He and his employees drove the fourth-largest utility in the United States to achieve high rankings in market capitalization, innovation, construction, job creation and customer satisfaction reports, despite expected coal plant retirements next year and tough political and economic times."
Rigby won in the Large Utility CEO of the Year division, open to North American electric utilities with 400,000 customers or more. Haase won in the Small Utility CEO of the Year division, open to North American electric utilities with fewer than 400,000 customers.
"Mr. Rigby has taken innumerable measures against cybersecurity threats against the electric grid in the nation's capital, and Mr. Haase has made electricity available to members of the Navajo Nation who had been living without it," Hansen said. "These leaders should not only be recognized for their ingenuity, but also imitated throughout the electric industry. They're protecting lives and providing a better quality of life for Americans."
A feature article on Southern Co. appears in the November-December issue of Electric Light & Power magazine, and another on Rigby and Haase will appear in the January-February issue.
Atlanta-based Southern Co. serves some 4.4 million customers in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida through four retail operating companies: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power.
Washington, D.C.,-based PHI has some 2 million customers in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and New Jersey. PHI subsidiaries Pepco, Delmarva Power and Atlantic City Electric provide regulated electricity service; Delmarva Power also provides natural gas service. PHI also provides energy efficiency and renewable energy services through Pepco Energy Services.
NTUA, based in Fort Defiance, Ariz., serves some 39,400 electric customers and 193 photovoltaic customers. NTUA purchases electrical power off the Navajo Nation and transmits that power to homes throughout northern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and southeastern Utah. Even as NTUA works hard to meet the basic utility needs of the Navajo Nation, an estimated 16,000 families remain without access to electricity, and many more homes and families are without access to basic infrastructure such as telephones, water, wastewater and natural gas services.
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