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WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (07/24/79)

decided: July 24, 1979.

WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION, PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT; THE BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY OF PENNSYLVANIA ET AL., INTERVENORS



Appeals from the Orders of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. The Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania, R.I.D. No. 367.

COUNSEL

Robert H. Griswold, with him McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for petitioner.

Bohdan R. Pankiw, with him Charles F. Hoffman, Assistant Counsel, Steven A. McClaren, Deputy Chief Counsel, and George M. Kashi, Acting Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Richard D. Spiegelman, Assistant Consumer Advocate, with him Mark P. Widoff, Consumer Advocate, for intervenors.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers, Craig and MacPhail. Judges Blatt and DiSalle did not participate. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 44 Pa. Commw. Page 408]

In 1976 The Bell Telephone Company (Bell) filed new tariffs with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission showing proposed changes in its intrastate telephone rates calculated to produce additional revenues of $137,635,000 and expense savings of $10,585,000. The PUC suspended Bell's proposed tariff revisions

[ 44 Pa. Commw. Page 409]

    and instituted an investigation. The thirty-seven complaints filed against the new tariffs, including those of the Consumer Advocate and Westinghouse Electric Corporation, were consolidated with the investigation proceedings. By order entered in short form on December 28, 1977 and in long form on April 4, 1978, the PUC approved an increase in revenue of $38,669,000 granting increases to specific services and allocating the remaining revenue deficiency 60 percent to vertical services and 40 percent to basic services.*fn1 Bell filed tariff revisions, effective February 12 and March 1, 1978 to meet the $38,669,000 revenue deficiency.

In response to Bell's request for modification filed on April 19, 1978 the PUC entered an order on May 11, 1978 approving an additional $9,413,000 in revenue requirements resulting from a correction of technical errors in computing Bell's tax liability made in the April 4, 1978 order. The May 11 order also required Bell to file within 30 days three alternate plans for allocating the additional $9.4 million.*fn2 At a public meeting held on May 23, 1978 the PUC approved that plan submitted by Bell which allocated the $9.4 million in a ratio of 90 percent to vertical services and 10 percent to basic services.

Westinghouse, a heavy user of vertical services, has filed two petitions for review which we have consolidated

[ 44 Pa. Commw. Page 410]

    for briefing, argument and disposition. The first, No. 1346 C.D. 1978, seeks review of the PUC's May 11, 1978 order which modified the April 4, 1978 order by increasing Bell's revenue requirements. The second, No. 1364 C.D. 1978, seeks review of the PUC's "informal order" of May 23, 1978 which approved the allocation of $9.4 million, 90 percent to vertical services and 10 percent to basic services. Westinghouse does not dispute the PUC's allowance of additional revenues in the amount of $9,413,000. It complains that the order of May 11, 1978 and the informal order of May 23, 1978 were invalid because they were entered subsequent to the filing of Bell's petition for review of the PUC's December 28, 1977 short form order and also because Westinghouse was not afforded notice and an opportunity to be ...


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