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PUGET POWER GETS RESULTS OF COST-EFFECTIVENESS STUDY

 BELLEVUE, Wash., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Puget Sound Power & Light Co. (NYSE: PSD) said today it has received the results of a 10-month efficiency and cost-effectiveness study completed this month.
 A team led by an outside consulting firm made its recommendations to Puget Power senior management. Implementation of some of the recommendations has already begun.
 Last July, the company asked the international consulting firm of Towers Perrin to assist it by providing a fresh perspective in helping determine ways to deliver electricity to its customers that were both efficient and cost-effective. At the same time, companywide study teams were formed to work with the consultant. "Both groups issued their final reports to senior management this past week," said Rich Sonstelie, Puget Power's president and chief executive officer, "and we are highlighting some of their recommendations today. They did a really fine job! They told us where we were doing things well, and they pointed us in directions where we could become even more efficient while, at the same time, providing levels of service our customers are telling us they want and expect."
 Even prior to receiving the Towers Perrin recommendations, the company had begun the following efficiency initiatives:
 -- Reducing the number of company-owned fleet vehicles, including those historically provided to officer and director-level employees
 -- Moving to a multi-year capital budgeting process
 -- Streamlining the administration of employee benefits
 -- Vacating a floor of high-rise leased office space in Bellevue
 -- Reducing computer hardware and software support services
 -- Centralization and consolidation of billing and collection activities
 Towers Perrin earlier shared its findings with the staff of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. In its presentation to Puget Power senior management, Towers Perrin told the company it believes the key to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of its core operations is to "focus continuous improvement initiatives and resource allocations on the areas having the greatest potential for performance gains."
 Sonstelie said, "Unlike some other firms in the Pacific Northwest that have been downsizing due to reduced business activity, our challenge has been managing our business to meet continued growth in electrical loads and customers. While we have not targeted a specific level of staffing reductions, some reductions have resulted.
 "The greatest payoff of this study will be in our ability to seek continuous improvement," he added. "These initiatives are an essential element of our long-term business strategy." He noted the company expects to see continued growth in demand for electricity throughout the rest of the decade. "Over the past 10 years, our customer base has grown by more than 200,000, or, by about 27 percent. Over that same period, we have held our customer-to-employee ratio in check. In fact, 10 years ago, we had 1,000 customers for every 4.1 employees. Today we have 1,000 customers for every 3.6 employees. This is certainly among the leanest customer-to-employee ratios in our industry," he said.
 -0- 4/28/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Puget Power Chief Executive Officer Rich Sonstelie will be available for telephone interviews from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. today. Call Melanie Granfors or Bill Seil for an appointment./
 /CONTACT: Bill Seil, 206-462-3206, or Melanie Granfors, 206-462-3710, both of Puget Sound Power & Light/
 (PSD)


CO: Puget Sound Power & Light Co.; Towers Perrin ST: Washington IN: UTI SU:

SW-LM -- SE007 -- 2109 04/28/93 13:50 EDT
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Date:Apr 28, 1993
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