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PENN SHERATON HOTEL ET AL. v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION. (09/13/62)

September 13, 1962

PENN SHERATON HOTEL ET AL., APPELLANTS,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION.



Appeals, Nos. 99 to 108, inclusive, April T., 1962, from order of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Complaint Docket Nos. 17520, 17521, 17522, 17525 and 17562, in case of Penn Sheration Hotel et al. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Order set aside to extent indicated and record remanded; in other respects, order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Harry A. Kramer, for appellants.

Albert D. Brandon, Assistant City Solicitor, with him David W. Craig, City Solicitor, for City of Pittsburgh, appellant.

Miles Warner, Assistant Counsel, with him Joseph I. Lewis, Chief Counsel, for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, appellee.

Charles E. Thomas, with him Lloyd S. Benijamin, David Dunlap, and Hull, Leiby and Metzger, for steam heating company, intervening appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ.

Author: Rhodes

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 620]

OPINION BY RHODES, P.J.

These appeals are taken from an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission issued on November 20, 1961, sustaining increases in rates of Allegheny County Steam Heating Company.

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 621]

Several questions are raised on these appeals, one of which involves the matter of negative salvage.

The proposed rates filed by Allegheny County Steam Heating Company provided in general for a 15 per cent increase estimated at $402,600 under a tariff supplement filed on August 31, 1960, to become effective on November 1, 1960. The Allegheny County Steam Heating Company, intervening appellee, hereinafter referred to as "Allegheny," is a wholly owned subsidiary of Duquesne Light Company, and provides steam heating service from its own plants to hotels, office buildings, institutional buildings, and mercantile establishments served in the downtown section of the City of Pittsburgh.

Prior to the effective date, formal complaints were filed by various customers of Allegheny, by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Pittsburgh (also referred to as BOMA), some of whose members are customers of Allegheny, and by the City of Pittsburgh. Subsequently a complaint was filed by the County of Allegheny. The complaints were consolidated by the commission for the purpose of hearings. The commission suspended the proposed rates to May 1, 1961, and again to August 1, 1961, and instituted an investigation on its own motion. Allegheny voluntarily postponed the effective date of its new tariff to October 17, 1961, which was beyond the maximum suspension period allowed by the Public Utility Law. On October 16, 1961, the commission issued a temporary order continuing the existing rates in effect until a final order should issue. The final order sustaining the proposed rates was issued on November 20, 1961, and it is from this order that the instant appeals were taken. The appeals to this Court were taken by all the above complainants except the County of Allegheny.

Appellants seek to have the commission's order reversed or the record remanded to the commission for

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 622]

    a consideration of the issues here presented. The relevant factual background has been stated by the commission in its order of November 20, 1961, as follows:

"The chartered service area of respondent includes not only the City of Pittsburgh but the whole of Allegheny County and adjacent territories as well. However, the actual service area has been limited to Pittsburgh's Golden Triangle and is bounded by the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers and with the easterly boundary, beginning at the Allegheny River, lying along 16th Street, Bigelow Boulevard, Washington Place and Hooper Street to the Monongahela River.

"Physical plant includes the Stanwix Steam Heating Plant located at Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Cecil Alley, and the Twelfth Street Steam Heating Plant located at Twelfth and Etna Streets, both in downtown Pittsburgh. The principal steam mains are located under the streets in tunnels which join the two heating plants. These tunnels are sufficiently large to permit workmen to pass through to make inspections and repairs. Other steam mains which radiate out from the principal steam mains in the tunnels, together with condensate return ...


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