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POWER PLANNING COUNCIL APPLAUDS CONSERVATION SUCCESSES AT PUGET POWER

POWER PLANNING COUNCIL APPLAUDS CONSERVATION SUCCESSES AT PUGET POWER
 SEATTLE, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Northwest Power Planning Council today congratulated Puget Sound Power & Light Co. (NYSE: PSD) for exceeding its conservation goal in 1991. The utility acquired 17.5 megawatts of energy conservation in 1991.
 Puget Power announced the results of its 1991 conservation programs at a Council meeting in Seattle. Jerry Lehenbauer, Puget Power's manager of conservation programs, said the company's target for the year was 16 megawatts. The 1992 target is 24 megawatts, he said.
 The energy savings acquired by Puget Power cost between 3 and 4 cents per kilowatt hour -- about $40 million total -- and involve, for example, insulating homes and buildings, decreasing residential use of hot water through water-efficient showerheads, and improved efficiency of electric motors for industrial processes. Conservation measures like these are about half the cost of electricity from new conventional power plants.
 "Puget is a regional leader in energy conservation," said Ted Hallock, chairman of the Council and a member from Oregon. "You're so far ahead of the pack. Why are you better than most other utilities in terms of success?"
 Lehenbauer replied that the company aggressively pursued Washington state regulatory reforms that encourage investor-owned utilities like Puget Power to pursue conservation. In fact, Puget Power now is able to make money from saving energy as well as from selling it.
 "We're successful at it because it is not that difficult," he said. "You just have to get out there and start doing it."
 Lehenbauer said Puget Power has been planning its energy future with an eye to lowest-cost sources of electricity -- such as conservation -- since 1978.
 "We have integrated conservation as a resource on a level playing field with other sources of energy," he said. "We also have strong support from upper management to pursue conservation."
 Through acquiring energy savings, Puget Power is working toward its share of the 1,500 megawatts of conservation that the Council is calling on the region to acquire by the year 2000. The conservation goal is in the regional power plan, which the Council adopted in April 1991.
 In another matter concerning Puget Power, the Council endorsed the company's effort to relicense its hydroelectric project at Snoqualmie Falls, about 40 miles east of Seattle. Puget Power's license to operate the facility is about to expire, and the company has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a new license.
 The Commission asked the Council to comment on the application. In a letter of support to the Commission, the Council noted that Puget Power is aggressively pursuing energy conservation and needs power from the facility to meet its customers' call for new electricity.
 The Council is an agency of the four Northwest states, created under the authority of the Northwest Power Act of 1980. The Council's eight members from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, plan for ways to meet the region's long-range electricity supply, and work to protect fish and wildlife resources of the Columbia River Basin.
 -O- 2/12/92
 /CONTACT: John Harrison of the Northwest Power Planning Council, 503-222-5161/
 (PSD) CO: Northwest Power Planning Council; Puget Sound Power & Light Co. ST: Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon IN: SU:


RR-SC -- SE010 -- 9494 02/12/92 19:06 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 12, 1992
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