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SCRANTON v. SCRANTON STEAM HEAT COMPANY. (11/14/61)

November 14, 1961

SCRANTON, APPELLANT,
v.
SCRANTON STEAM HEAT COMPANY.



Appeals, Nos. 450 and 451, Jan. T., 1961, from judgment of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1960, No. 225, reversing order of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Complaint Dockets 17206 and 17189, in case of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. Scranton Steam Heat Company. Judgment modified and affirmed; reargument refused January 8, 1962.

COUNSEL

Miles Warner, Assistant Counsel, with him Louis J. Carter, Assistant Counsel, and Joseph I. Lewis, Chief Counsel, for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, appellant.

Morey M. Myers, with him James W. McNulty, for City of Scranton, appellant.

Anthony C. Falvello, with him Rocco C. Falvello, James E. Riely, and Creskoff, Riely & Holton, for utility company, appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 405 Pa. Page 398]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES.

These appeals are from a judgment of the Superior Court which reversed a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Commission) order entered in a rate case.

On April 28, 1959, Scranton Steam Heat Company (Company) filed with the Commission a supplement to its steam heat tariff, to become effective July 1, 1959,

[ 405 Pa. Page 399]

    which supplement provided for increases in the Company's base rates for steam heat service. To these proposed rate increases the City of Scranton (Scranton) and one Harry Klein (Klein), a consumer, filed complaints. The Commission, pending disposition of these complaints, suspended the effective date of the proposed rate increases,*fn1 held hearings and on April 28, 1960 the Commission sustained the complaints and directed the Company to cancel its steam heat tariff supplement. The reversal of that order by the Superior Court is challenged on these appeals.

The factual background is relatively simple. The plant for furnishing both electric service and steam heat service was constructed by the Scranton Electric Company (Electric) in 1894. On January 31, 1956, Pennsylvania Power & Light Company (Power & Light) acquired this plant from Electric. On September 26, 1956, the Company acquired the steam heat service facilities of the plant from Power & Light for $250,000. The property acquired consisted of (a) a production system*fn2 used by Electric and Power & Light both to produce steam used in the generation of electricity and to supply steam heat; (b) a distribution system;*fn3 (c) general property,*fn4 (b) and (c) being employed exclusively in steam heat service. As found by the Commission upon sufficient evidence, Power and Light did not need in 1956 the production ...


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