Westar Energy announces new CFO

TOPEKA, Kan., Jan. 14, 2003 — Westar Energy Inc. announced Tuesday the appointment of Mark A. Ruelle as executive vice president and chief financial officer effective immediately.

Ruelle is a former officer of Westar Energy and served in various financial planning and management positions from 1986 to 1997. He most recently served in various executive positions at Sierra Pacific Resources, Inc., the owner of the largest electric utilities in Nevada. At Sierra Pacific Resources, Ruelle served four years as senior vice president and chief financial officer and one year as president of its Nevada Power Company unit.

“Mark Ruelle brings tremendous financial expertise and experience to the management team,” said James Haines, Westar Energy chief executive officer and president. “This is complemented by significant operational experience.”

Westar Energy, Inc. is a consumer services company with interests in monitored services and energy. The company has total assets of approximately $7 billion, including security company holdings through ownership of Protection One Inc. and Protection One Europe, which have approximately 1.2 million security customers. Westar Energy is the largest electric utility in Kansas providing service to about 647,000 customers in the state. Westar Energy has nearly 6,000 megawatts of electric generation capacity and operates and coordinates more than 34,700 miles of electric distribution and transmission lines. Through its ownership in ONEOK, Inc., a Tulsa, Okla.-based natural gas company, Westar Energy has a 44.7 percent interest in one of the largest natural gas distribution companies in the nation, serving more than 1.4 million customers.

For more information about Westar Energy, visit us on the Internet at http://www.wr.com.

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