Southern Company (NYSE:SO) announced today that it has fully completed its $363 million smart-grid-investment project. Southern Company has been working on the improvements since 2009, when it received a $165 million Department of Energy grant to kick-start the initiative.

Smart-grid technology has allowed the utility to improve reliability while saving money. This technology is crucial to decentralized power-generation systems, and also aids in the preservation and/or swift recovery of power systems after disturbances like last week's polar vortex.

"As an industry leader in developing and deploying new technologies, Southern Company is committed to advancing our critical infrastructure and providing value to our customers," said Kimberly Greene, president and CEO of Southern Company Services. "The projects funded through the Smart Grid Investment Grant are enhancing our ability to efficiently and reliably meet customers' needs."

According to the report, the upgrades have already saved Southern 84,900 truck trips for service calls, contributing to more than $5 million in cost savings.