Pensacola power users patronize Gulf Power. The regulated utility, a subsidiary of Southern Company, transmits and distributes electricity to more than 430,650 customers in 10 counties in northwestern Florida. Gulf Power generates more than 2,660 MW of capacity from its fossil-fueled power plants, and it operates 1,600 miles of transmission lines and more than 7,680 miles of distribution lines in its service territory. The utility, which serves 10 counties and more than 70 towns and cities, also provides wholesale electricity to two distributors in Florida, and it offers conservation programs, outdoor lighting, surge protection, and other energy-related products and services.
As part of an industry push to reduce carbon emissions, in 2008 Gulf Power introduced a comprehensive energy efficiency program aimed at helping customers save money and energy while reducing greenhouse gases. The conservation initiative, called EarthCents, offers a menu of programs and educational efforts to reduce residential and commercial electricity consumption. The company has also reduced emission from its power plants by 85%, using scrubber systems at its coal-fired plants.
Furthering the green energy push, in 2010 Gulf Power constructed a 3,200 kilowatts gas-to energy plant which harnesses methane gas at its Perdido Landfill in Escambia County. The plant provides enough energy to power 900 homes.
In 2009 lower fuel costs and increased retail revenues (caused by a growth in customers) helped the company post an improved net income over 2008, despite a dip in overall revenues. It helped offset a slump in commercial and industrial, wholesale revenues, the result of weaker demand caused by the downturn in the global economy. Rate increases and higher demand, spurred by a recovering economy and cooler winter and warmer summer weather, helped revenues and income to bounce back sharply in 2010.
In 2010 company veteran Mark Crosswhite replaced Susan Story as president of Gulf Power. Story was reassigned to a leadership role at Southern Company's wireless subsidiary, SouthernLINC.
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