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Virginia Natural Gas Named One of the Most Trusted Natural Gas Companies in America for Third Consecutive Year

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Jan. 17, 2017 – For the third consecutive year Virginia Natural Gas has been named 2016 Utility Customer Champion by Cogent Reports™, the syndicated division of Market Strategies International. As one of the most trusted brands in the nation, Virginia Natural Gas continues to be an industry leader in customer engagement and satisfaction.

The Residential Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™ study measures overall customer engagement performance based on three core components – brand trust, operational satisfaction and product experience. More than 58,400 residential customers representing 130 of the nation’s largest electric and natural gas utility companies responded to the web-based survey.

All of the utilities recognized had an Engaged Customer Relationship (ECR) score that placed them in the top quartile of their region, or had a score of at least 750 on a 1,000 point scale. Virginia Natural Gas once again showed a year-over-year gain, improving its score from 751 last year to 769. The score ranked among the highest for all utilities and fourth in the natural gas category.

Virginia Natural Gas, which provides natural gas service to more than 290,000 customers in southeastern Virginia, also ranks second in customer satisfaction among mid-size utilities in the South and third nationally by J.D. Power and Associates. The company was recognized by Cogent Reports as Environmental Champion for its leadership in environmental sustainability and stewardship.

“We are proud to be recognized by our customers as one of the most trusted brands in America,” said Jim Kibler, president of Virginia Natural Gas. “We will continue to deliver on our promise of being the safest, most customer-focused and reliable natural gas service provider to our community."

For information about Virginia Natural Gas, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com.

About Virginia Natural Gas

Virginia Natural Gas is one of seven natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides natural gas service to 290,000 customers in southeast Virginia.  Virginia Natural Gas has been recognized as one of the safest, most reliable and customer-focused natural gas service providers, and in 2016 was ranked second in customer satisfaction among mid-size utilities in the South and third nationally by J.D. Power and Associates. Also in 2016, Virginia Natural Gas was recognized as an Environmental Champion by Cogent™ Reports and as the Local Distribution Company of the Year by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association. For more information, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/VirginiaNaturalGasCo) and Twitter (Twitter.com/VaNaturalGas).

About Southern Company Gas

Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company.  Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.5 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in seven states and more than 1 million retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate gas pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at www.southerncompanygas.com.

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Media Contact: Duane Bourne | o: 757.616.7510 | c: 757.955.0363 | dbourne@southernco.com