Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in the case of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. Duquesne Light Company, R.I.D. No. 373.
Marvin A. Fein, Utilities Counsel, with him Mead J. Mulvihill, Jr., City Solicitor, for petitioners, City of Pittsburgh and Mayor Richard S. Caliguiri.
William T. Hawke, Assistant Counsel, with him Steven A. McClaren, Deputy Chief Counsel, and George M. Kashi, Chief Counsel, for respondent, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Henry M. Wick, Jr., with him Charles J. Streiff, for intervenor, United States Steel Corporation.
Charles E. Thomas, with him Charles E. Thomas, Jr., and Patricia Armstrong, of counsel, Thomas & Thomas, for intervenor, Duquesne Light Company.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Blatt, Craig, MacPhail and Williams, Jr. Judge Rogers did not participate. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 178]
The City of Pittsburgh and Mayor Richard S. Caliguiri (Petitioners) have appealed from an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) adopted September 28, 1978. The order granted an $81 million rate increase to Duquesne Light Company
[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 179]
(Duquesne) and denied the Petitioners a refund from a $60 million tariff which Duquesne was permitted to file effective during and subject to the investigation of a proposed $127.9 million rate increase. The Petitioners appeal only the denial of the refund.
This case originated on October 1, 1976 when Duquesne filed Tariff Supplement No. 2 with the PUC, proposing an annual rate increase of about $127.9 million, to become effective on November 30, 1976. Included in this rate increase was a request for "emergency rate relief" in the amount of $89 million. On October 20, 1976 Duquesne filed a petition with the PUC reducing its emergency relief request to $87 million. In an "Investigation and Suspension Order" adopted without a hearing December 9, 1976 and entered on December 17, 1976 the PUC suspended the tariff supplement for $127.9 million (December 9, 1976 order). In addition to suspending the tariff supplement the order instituted an investigation including consideration of temporary rates under Sections 308(b) and 310 of the Public Utility Law (Law).*fn1 In the preamble to the order, the PUC stated that pending the inquiry, investigation and further order of the PUC, Duquesne "may file a tariff supplement designed to produce an increase not to exceed $60 million, provided, however, that the rates . . . shall not be deemed commission made rates. . . ." The PUC further stated that the rates may be effective within one day of filing and shall be subject to the same inquiry and investigation.
Duquesne filed such a tariff supplement on December 13, 1976. The Petitioners, among others, protested the $60 million emergency increase and the PUC referred ...