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JOSEPH DELPH AND VIOLET DELPH v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/22/79)

decided: October 22, 1979.

JOSEPH DELPH AND VIOLET DELPH, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION AND METROPOLITAN EDISON COMPANY, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Joseph Delph and Violet Delph v. Metropolitan Edison Company, No. C-22029.

COUNSEL

John T. Stieh, and Kayton, Schneider, Levy and Stieh, for petitioners.

Allison K. Turner, Assistant Counsel, Shirley Rae Don, Deputy Chief Counsel, George M. Kashi, Acting Chief Counsel, Samuel B. Russell, Eric L. B. Strahn, and Ryan, Russell & McConaghy, for respondents.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 46 Pa. Commw. Page 553]

Joseph and Violet Delph (petitioners) appeal a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) order denying the relief sought in their complaint filed with the PUC. We affirm.

On April 10, 1973, Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed) informed, by letter, the developer of Pocono Mountain Woodland Lakes, a subdivision in Pike County, Pennsylvania, that it would supply electricity to the subdivision "[u]pon application for service . . . in accordance with our policies and such rules and regulations as are set forth by the Public Utility Commission." A paraphrase of the letter was subsequently incorporated by the developer into his sales contracts for the purchase of lots in the subdivision. This provision was included in petitioners' contract.

Pursuant to this understanding, petitioners, sometime after June 22, 1976, applied to Met-Ed for electric service. The rates governing the acquisition of electric

[ 46 Pa. Commw. Page 554]

    service, however, had been changed as of June 22, 1976, thereby substantially increasing the cost of obtaining service.

By complaint filed with the PUC, petitioners sought to have the rates existing prior to June 22, 1976 applied to their request for service. Petitioners argue that the letter of April 10, 1973 represents an agreement or contract that Met-Ed would provide service to the subdivision customers at the rates existing on April 10, 1973. This argument is without merit.

Even if this letter could be construed as petitioners contend, Section 303 of the Public Utility Law*fn1 provided, in part:

No public utility shall, directly or indirectly, by any device whatsoever, or in anywise, demand or receive from any person, corporation, or municipal corporation a greater or less rate for any service rendered or to be rendered by such public utility than that specified in the ...


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