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DUQUESNE LIGHT CO. v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION ET AL.CITY PITTSBURGH V. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION ET AL. (08/28/53)

August 28, 1953

DUQUESNE LIGHT CO.
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION ET AL.CITY OF PITTSBURGH V. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION ET AL.



COUNSEL

David Dunlap, Harrisburg, Charles E. Kenworthey, Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, Pittsburgh, for Duquesne Light Co.

Harold F. Reed, Robert L. Orr, Reed, Ewing & Ray, Beaver, for St. Joseph Lead Co.

Anne X. Alpern, City Sol., J. F. McKenna, Jr., Asst. City Sol., Pittsburgh, for City of Pittsburgh.

William J. Grove and W. Russel Hoerner, Asst. Counsel, Lloyd S. Benjamin, Counsel, Harrisburg, Pa., for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Ross, Gunther and Wright, JJ.

[ 174 Pa. Super. Page 64]

PER CURIAM.

The Duquesne Light Company and the City of Pittsburgh have appealed from the order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission of March 9, 1953, wherein the Commission, with certain exceptions therein indicated, affirmed its order of August 29, 1951, and again directed the Duquesne Light Company to submit the amount of refund due to each customer as set forth in the previous order.

The present proceeding is the result of the reversal of the Commission's order of August 29, 1951, and the remanding of the record for further action and consideration by the Commission in certain respects. City of Pittsburgh v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 171 Pa. Super. 187, 90 A.2d 607.

[ 174 Pa. Super. Page 65]

The original proceeding had its beginning on February 6, 1950, when Duquesne filed a new tariff (No. 10) to become effective on April 10, 1950, and designed to produce additional annual revenue of $7,720,612. The City of Pittsburgh and certain other municipalities and industrial consumers filed complaints against the proposed tariff. The Commission initiated an investigation on its own motion for the purpose of determining the fairness, reasonableness, justness, and lawfulness of the rates and charges of Duquesne under the new tariff; at the same time, the Commission suspended operation of the proposed tariff for a period of six months, or until October 10, 1950. An additional suspension of three months postponed the effective date of the tariff until January 10, 1951, when the new rates under tariff No. 10 became effective by operation of law. The Commission, after extended hearings, made its final order of August 29, 1951, in which it found that Duquesne was entitled to an increase of only $3,556,924, and ordered the filing of an acceptable tariff which would produce annual operating revenues of $60,574,238 based upon the 1949 level of operations. In its final order of August 29, 1951, the Commission also directed Duquesne to refund to its customers the difference between the actual electric revenues received under tariff No. 10 and the revenues that would have been received if the new tariff (No. 11), which had been directed to be filed, had been in effect from January 10, 1951, to October 21, 1951, the effective date of the new tariff. Appeals were taken to this Court from that order of the Commission by Duquesne Light Company, the City of Pittsburgh, St. Joseph Lead Company, and Crucible Steel Company of America, and disposition thereof was made by our opinion in City of Pittsburgh v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, supra, 171 Pa. Super. 187, 90 A.2d 607.

[ 174 Pa. Super. Page 66]

We therein held, in reversing the order of the Commission and remanding the record, that the Commission had erred in capitalizing and including in the rate base certain coal leaseholds charged to operating expenses, in making an allowance for cash working capital of $3,500,000 as an item in the rate base, in basing its rejection of ten-year average prices for estimating reproduction cost on erroneous reasoning. After reviewing the evidence and the contentions of the respective parties, we also stated that the Commission should re-examine the adjustments to 1949 base year figures relating to expenses and revenues. We also directed that the Commission consider any further available material evidence as to taxes under federal and state laws.

Following the order of this Court, reversing the Commission's order of August 29, 1951, and remanding the record for the purposes therein set forth, the Commission provided that hearings be held beginning December 11, 1952. On that date Duquesne filed a new tariff (No. 12) proposed to become effective March 1, 1953, and containing the same rates as tariff No. 10 which had been found excessive by the Commission in its order of August 29, 1951. Tariff No. 12 would increase annual revenues by $4,800,000. Complaints were filed against this last tariff. The Commission has ...


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