Appeals from the Orders of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in the case of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. Duquesne Light Company, No. R-811470.
J. Tomlinson Fort, with him, Michael L. Browne and Gregory B. Jordan, Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay; Charles E. Thomas, with him, Charles E. Thomas, Jr. and Patricia Armstrong, Thomas & Thomas, and Larry R. Crayne, Corporate Attorney, for petitioner/intervenor, Duquesne Light Company.
Dennis S. Shilobod, Messer, Shilobod & Crenney, with him, E. J. Strassburger, Strassburger, McKenna, Gutnick & Potter, for petitioner/intervenor, Joseph Horne Company.
John A. Levin, Assistant Counsel, with him, Bohdan R. Pankiw, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Daniel P. Delaney, Chief Counsel, for respondent, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Irwin A. Popowsky, Assistant Consumer Advocate, with him, Craig R. Burgraff and Joan C. Fitzpatrick, Assistant Consumer Advocates and David M. Barasch, Consumer Advocate, for Office of Consumer Advocate.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Craig, MacPhail, Colins, Palladino, McGinley and Smith. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 117 Pa. Commw. Page 29]
Two appeals from orders of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) have been consolidated for our appellate review. Duquesne Light Company (Duquesne) appeals from an order directing it to refund excess revenues collected by it for the period from July
[ 117 Pa. Commw. Page 3015]
, 1981 to January 29, 1982. Joseph Horne Company (Horne) appeals from the order of the PUC denying its request for counsel fees and fixing the interest rate to be applied to the refund ordered by the PUC at 6 per cent per annum rather than at the average rate of interest specified for residential mortgage lending. We will affirm both PUC orders.
Most of the necessary background for this case can be found in Joseph Horne Company v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Horne I), 78 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 566, 467 A.2d 1212 (1983), where we held that the PUC was statutorily empowered to permit a general rate increase tariff requested by Duquesne to be withdrawn and a second supplement (Supplement 52) with a lower rate increase suggested by the PUC, to be filed at the option of Duquesne, with that increase to become effective immediately pending investigation and final approval.
On Horne's further appeal to our Supreme Court, that Court in Joseph Horne Company v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Horne II), 506 Pa. 475, 485 A.2d 1105 (1984), held that the PUC's "option procedure" violated the procedural and substantive provisions of Sections 1308(e) and 1310(a) of the Public Utility Code (Code), 66 Pa. C. S. §§ 1308(e) and 1310(a). The order of that Court disposing of the appeal reads as follows:
Order of Commonwealth Court reversed and case remanded to the Public Utility Commission for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
506 Pa. at 488, 485 A.2d at 1111.
Acting upon its interpretation of the meaning of that order*fn1 the PUC, on April 9, ...