Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Mark P. Widoff, Consumer Advocate v. Pennsylvania Gas and Water Company, Docket No. R-78040597.
David A. Ody, Assistant Consumer Advocate, with him Mark P. Widoff, Consumer Advocate, for petitioner.
Julian S. Suffian, Assistant Counsel, with him Steven A. McClaren, Deputy Chief Counsel, and George M. Kashi, Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Charles E. Thomas, with him D. Mark Thomas, Patricia Armstrong, and, of counsel, Thomas & Thomas, for Pennsylvania Gas and Water Company.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers, Blatt, DiSalle and Craig. Judges Mencer and MacPhail did not participate. Opinion by Judge DiSalle.
[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 217]
The present controversy derives from the April 28, 1978 filing by the Pennsylvania Gas and Water Company (PG&W), of tariff supplements proposing a $5,551,536.00 increase in its annual water revenues. On May 23, 1978, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) ordered that the proposed increase be suspended and that an investigation be conducted before an administrative law judge to determine the reasonableness and lawfulness of the increase.
The Consumer Advocate (CA) objected to the proposed increase. By order of the administrative law judge, the CA's complaint was conditionally consolidated with the PUC's investigation, with the PUC retaining the right to sever the two proceedings in the event a settlement with PG&W was reached.
On July 12, 1978, PG&W filed a petition to settle the rate investigation. Following three prehearings,
[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 218]
the PUC's Trial Staff (TS) and PG&W agreed to a rate increase that would generate $3,886,137.00 of additional annual revenues. The CA opposed the settlement.
Evidentiary hearings were held before the administrative law judge on July 20 and 21, 1978. He recommended that the proposed settlement be adopted, and on August 31, 1978, the PUC issued the following order:
1. The Commission approve a rate increase for Pennsylvania Gas & Water Company -- Water Division in an amount not to exceed $3,886,137 and that the increase become effective not ...