Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of In Re: Petition of John Sheldrake, Inc., No. P-820346.
Ronald N. Agulnick, with him, Joseph G. Riper and Cathy Wilson Huzzard, Pitt, Agulnick, Supplee, Johnson & Slade, for petitioner.
Mark C. Morrow, Assistant Counsel, with him, Louise A. Knight, Deputy Chief Counsel, Robert P. Meehan, Assistant Counsel, and Charles F. Hoffman, Chief Counsel, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Rogers, MacPhail, Doyle, Barry, Colins and Palladino. Opinion by Judge Colins.
[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 303]
John Sheldrake, Inc. (petitioner) appeals an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) denying its petition for an exemption from 52 Pa. Code § 59.62(h), which reads as follows: "No jurisdictional gas utility shall supply natural gas for use in outdoor lighting except to residential customers; in the case of municipal outdoor lighting fixtures, such supply shall be terminated January 1, 1982."
Petitioner owns and operates the Sheldrake Arms Apartment Complex whereon eight natural gas lights are located. On February 9, 1982, petitioner filed a petition with the PUC seeking an exemption from the outdoor gas light ban. The PUC denied the petition for exemption on March 12, 1982, and on March 25, 1982, petitioner filed a Petition for Review with this Court and a Petition for Reconsideration with the PUC. On April 2, 1982, the PUC granted the Petition for Reconsideration and the appeal to this Court was stricken on praecipe of petitioner.*fn1
[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 304]
A hearing was held on August 31, 1982, before an administrative law judge (ALJ) based on a revised petition for exemption.*fn2 The ALJ issued a decision on August 29, 1983, recommending that the petition for exemption be granted. On September 12, 1983, the PUC Trial Staff filed Exceptions to this decision, and on September 21, 1983, petitioner filed Reply Exceptions. The ALJ denied the majority of the exceptions, and his decision remained unaltered.
On October 19, 1983, the PUC exercised its right to review the ALJ's decision. The PUC entered an order dated May 16, 1984, reversing the ALJ's decision on the ground that petitioner had not established substantive evidence that conversion of his outdoor lighting will be unduly burdensome;*fn3 therefore, petitioner's petition for exemption was denied. This appeal followed.
Petitioner claims that he is exempted by 52 Pa. Code § 59.62(h)(4) which provides:
Exemption from the ban imposed in this subsection may be granted by the commission upon the petition of any municipality or any commercial customer receiving service to outdoor ...