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Play to your strengths in difficult times [electric utility strategy]

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The electric utility landscape has changed dramatically in the little more than two years. There has been California's catastrophic experiment with retail deregulation and the fall of Enron and other high-profile companies, as well as the crisis in credibility throughout corporate America. What happened in California and what happened to Enron has changed the business parameters for all energy companies. The changes are numerous. Retail electricity deregulation has moved to the back burner and in some states has been reversed, energy trading has fallen off sharply, and there has been a decline in the merchant power plant business. Some of the developments over the past couple of years have reinforced our belief that this industry is different in important ways from others and that it has to be seen in that light. This article discusses the changing landscape facing electric utilities and Southern Company's strategy for maintaining success in this environment.

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Power and Energy Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 4 )