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Highlights: PA PUC Public Session of January 27, 2012

Note: Audio from each public meeting is available on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s website for approximately six months.  To access the audio stream for this public meeting, please visit http://www.puc.state.pa.us/general/PMAudio.aspx.  The public meeting calendar and agendas may be viewed at http://www.puc.state.pa.us/general/public_meeting.aspx.

          At the January 27, 2012, Public Meeting of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (“Commission”), the Commissioners adopted Staff’s recommendations for action by a vote of 5-0 on all items listed on the Main Agenda and Carry-In Agenda, except as reflected herein below under the respective Commission agenda headings.  Review of particular items addressed by the Commissioners at this Public Meeting which may be of interest are addressed under the respective Commission agenda headings below.  Any relevant motions and statements are attached hereto and to the original of this Session Memo filed in the Public Meeting Agenda and Session Memo binder.  The next regular Public Meeting is tentatively scheduled for February 16 at 10:00 a.m.  The minutes of the Public Meeting of December 22, 2011, were, by a vote of 5-0, approved without modification.

MAIN AGENDA

BUREAU OF TECHNICAL SERVICES & BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION & ENFORCEMENT (Transportation)

  • All matters approved as submitted.

BUREAU OF AUDITS

  • All matters approved as submitted.  

DIRECTOR OF REGULATORY OPERATIONS

  • All matters approved as submitted.

OFFICE OF SPECIAL ASSISTANTS

  • Equitable Gas Co., 2185982-OSA, M-2011-2185982.  By letter dated 8/6/10, the Law Bureau Prosecutory Staff informed Equitable Gas that it was initiating an informal investigation regarding the transfer of intellectual property to EQT IP Ventures, LLC and affiliated interest transactions with EQT IP Ventures, LLC. On 12/2/11, the Prosecutory Staff and Equitable filed a Settlement Agreement to resolve the matters relating to the informal investigation.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order which issues the proposed Settlement Agreement for comments by any interested party.  Vice Chairman Coleman’s Conflicts Statement is attached.  Joint Statement of Commissioner Cawley and Commissioner Gardner, which recommends comments from initial parties, is attached.  Vote 5-0.
  • Jacqueline Fielder vs. Verizon Pa, 2189352-OSA, C-2010-2189352.  Formal Complaint filed on 7/19/10, alleging she had been billed for service from 2/09 through 7/10 while she did not have a dial tone service on two telephone lines. On 8/26/10 Verizon filed an Answer to the Complaint. The matter was assigned to ALJ Corbett for hearing.  On 8/9/11, ALJ Corbett issued an Initial Decision which dismissed the Complaint. Exceptions were filed by the Complainant on 8/26/11. Reply Exceptions were filed on 9/12/11 by the Respondent.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order that grants, in part, and denies, in part, the Exceptions and modifies the Initial Decision.  Vice Chairman Coleman’s Motion is attached.  Commissioner Gardner’s Dissenting Statement, with which Commissioner Cawley joins, is attached.  Vote 3-2. 
  • Bur of Transportation & Safety vs. Sudol Paving & Excavation Inc., 2219118-OSA, C‑2011-2219118.  The matter was postponed form the 01/12/2012 Public Meeting.  Complaint instituted on 1/13/11, alleging that the Respondent failed to maintain evidence of liability insurance on file with the Commission. BTS requested that a civil penalty of $500 be imposed. The Respondent filed an Answer on 2/11/11. On 9/20/11, the Respondent and the Commission’s Law Bureau Prosecutory Staff, representing BTS, filed a Settlement Agreement in order to satisfy the Complaint. As part of the Settlement, the proposed penalty of $500 would be reduced to $250.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order which approves the proposed Settlement.  Chairman Powelson’s Motion is attached.  Commissioner Gardner’s Dissenting Statement, with which Commissioner Cawley joins, is attached.  Vote 3-2.

BUREAU OF TECHNICAL UTILTIY SERVICES

  • UGI Penn Natural Gas Company, 2258221-FUS, S-2011-2258221.  The matter was postponed form the 12/01/2012 Public Meeting.  Securities Certificate filed on 8/17/11, for approval for the incurrence of indebtedness under a $125 million financing agreement through and until 10/15/15. On several occasions, UGI Penn Natural agreed to voluntarily extend the consideration period.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order that approves the registration of the securities certificate for the incurrence of indebtedness under a $125 million financing agreement through and until 10/15/15.  Vote 4-1, with Commissioner Gardner dissenting.
  • UGI Utilities, Inc - Gas Division, 2258334-FUS, S-2011-2258334.  The matter was postponed from the 12/01/2011 Public Meeting.  Securities Certificate filed on 8/17/11, for approval for the incurrence of indebtedness in an amount up to $400 million under an unsecured, revolving credit agreement through and until 10/31/15. On several occasions, UGI Utilities agreed to voluntarily extend the consideration period.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order that approves the registration of the securities certificate for the incurrence of indebtedness in an amount up to $400 million under an unsecured, revolving credit agreement through and until 10/31/15.  Vote 4-1, with Commissioner Gardner dissenting.
  • UGI Central Penn Gas, Inc., 2258347-FUS, S-2011-2258347.  The matter was postponed from the 12/01/2011 Public Meeting.  Securities Certificate filed on 8/17/11, for approval for the incurrence of indebtedness under a $50 million financing agreement through and until 10/15/15.  On several occasions, UGI Central Penn agreed to voluntarily extend the consideration period.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order that approves the registration of the securities certificate for the incurrence of indebtedness under a $50 million financing agreement through and until 10/15/15.  Vote 4-1, with Commissioner Gardner dissenting.
  • Verizon North LLC, 2270788-FUS, R-2011-22707882012 Annual Price Change Opportunity Filing and Tariff Changes to Telephone Tariff PA PUC Nos. 1, 3, 5, and 6. Verizon North requests a $682,000 increase in rates from the implementation of its Price Change Opportunity. No protests were filed and no hearings were held.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order approving the proposed rate increase.  Vote 5-0.

LAW BUREAU

  • Metropolitan Edison and Penelec, 2093381-LAW, D-2009-2093381, D-2009-2093382.  The matter was postponed from the 01/12/2012 Public Meeting.  Tentative Order entered 9/17/09, tentatively approved the accounting procedure regarding allocations of revenues between NUG and non-NUG stranded costs, by which non-NUG over-collection revenue could be used to reduce non-NUG stranded costs when a cumulative NUG stranded cost balance exists. The Commission sought comments from parties to the 1998 Restructuring Settlement Agreement. Comments and answers to reply comments were filed by OCA, OSBA, MEIUG/PICA, ARIPPA and YCSWA. Reply comments were filed by the Companies. This Final Order reviews the positions of the parties as set forth in comments and reply comments and concludes that Met-Ed’s revenue allocation did not amount to a “change” in accounting methodology. The Commission agrees with the Companies that it was required under the Restructuring Settlement Agreement to calculate “net stranded costs” not “net-NUG stranded costs.” RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the Final Order approving Met Ed’s accounting method whereby NUG over-collection revenue may be used to reduce non-NUG stranded costs, even if a cumulative NUG stranded cost balance exists.  Commissioner Witmer’s Conflicts Statement is attached.  Vote 5-0, with Commissioner Cawley concurring in result only.

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE

  • Bur of Transportation & Safety vs. Milton B. Romig, 2147793-ALJ, C-2010-2147793.  Complaint instituted on 7/17/10, alleging Respondent failed to properly obtain a certificate of public convenience before transporting passengers and property for compensation. BTS requests the Commission fine the Respondent the sum of $1,000.  A hearing was held on 9/29/11.  COMMISSION REVIEW:  That the Commission adopt ALJ Barnes’ Initial Decision sustaining the complaint.  Commissioner Gardner’s Motion is attached.  Vote 5-0.
  • Nia Peterson vs. Philadelphia Gas Works, 2215379-ALJ, F-2010-2215379.  Formal Complaint filed on 12/13/10, alleging incorrect charges on her bill, in particular, PGW charging her after replacing her broken gas meter. On 1/5/11, PGW filed an Answer denying the material allegations of the complaint. A hearing was held on 7/12/11.  COMMISSION REVIEW:  That the Commission adopt ALJ Vero's Initial Decision sustaining the complaint, in part, to the extent that PGW cease and desist from further violations, and denying, in part, the complaint.  Commissioner Gardner’s and Commissioner Witmer’s Statements are attached.  Vote 5-0.
  • Regis W. Schrum vs. Peoples Natural Gas Company, 2215571-ALJ, C-2010-2215571.  Formal Complaint filed on 12/15/10, alleging opposition to the proposed rate increase; and contesting the need to call the natural gas supplier in order to obtain a lower commodity charge. Peoples filed an answer on 1/4/11.  COMMISSION REVIEW:  That the Commission adopt ALJ Dunderdale's Initial Decision dismissing the complaint.  Commissioner Gardner’s Motion is attached.  Vote 5-0.

CARRY-IN AGENDA

LAW BUREAU

  • All matters approved as submitted.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Nick Smith, Assistant Counsel for the Law Bureau, is retiring.

NEXT PUBLIC MEETING IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011 AT 10:00 A.M.

* Denotes Order

 

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