Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in the case of Marvin Schreiber v. Duquesne Light Company, No. C-21503.
Marvin Schreiber, with him Brian C. Schreiber, Schreiber and Schreiber, for petitioner.
Kandace F. Foust, Assistant Counsel, with her Shirley Rae Don, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Joseph J. Malatesta, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Larry R. Crayne, for intervenor.
Judges Rogers, Craig and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Craig.
Before this Court is an appeal by Marvin Schreiber (Petitioner) from a decision and order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) which upheld the imposition of multiple-dwelling residential rates to Petitioner's property by Duquesne Light Company (Duquesne). We affirm.
The facts in this matter are not in dispute. Petitioner owns and resides in a single family residence located in Fox Chapel Borough. On the same property
as Petitioner's house is a small, separate, cottage-like structure which, at all times relevant, was occupied rent free by Petitioner's caretaker. The cottage consists of a living room/dining area, kitchen, bedroom and a bath, and is classified as an accessory use under the Fox Chapel zoning ordinance.*fn1 Electric service to both Petitioner's house and the cottage was supplied through a single meter located in the main residence.
Because the two distinct residential dwelling units were served through a single meter, Petitioner was charged for his use of electricity at a multiple-dwelling residential rate under the applicable Duquesne tariff.*fn2 In April, 1976, Petitioner began to recalculate his electric bills applying Duquesne's single-family dwelling rate to his electricity consumption and paid only this lesser amount. Petitioner also filed a complaint before the PUC. Following a hearing, the PUC upheld Duquesne's practice and the appeal to this Court followed.
This Court's review of PUC orders is limited to a determination of whether constitutional rights have been violated, an error of law has been committed or whether findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence. West Penn Power Co. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 57 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 148, 422 A.2d 230 (1980) aff'd on reargument 57 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 148, 426 A.2d 1312 (1980). Before this ...