Chapter 756

 

      Chapter 756

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Under regulatory scheme, Public Utility Commissioner has authority to promulgate rule limiting telephone company’s liability for directory listing errors or omissions. Garrison v. Pacific NW Bell, 45 Or App 523, 608 P2d 1206 (1980)

 

      Refund is proper exercise of Public Utility Commission’s general powers if refund (1) is based only on information in existence at time of rate order for which refund is being made; (2) is not based on evaluation of public utility’s actual expenses or revenues; and (3) is not effectuated by offsetting future rates. Gearhart v. Public Utility Commission, 255 Or App 58, 299 P3d 533 (2013), aff’d 356 Or 216, 339 P3d 904 (2014)

 

      756.010

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Public utility company’s providing of repair and replacement activities for gas utility service were within definition of “service” and, as such, subject to regulation. Northwest Climate Conditioning v. Lobdell, 79 Or App 560, 720 P2d 1281 (1986)

 

      756.040

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Where (1) a utility has purchased the bulk of its necessary equipment and supplies from an “affiliated” manufacturer and (2) due to the affiliated relationship the manufacturer has unique market power rendering a comparison of its prices and profits with those of “peripheral” manufacturers inadequate as a measure of “reasonableness” of the utility’s payments to it, the utility’s failure to provide additional evidence of reasonableness may justify disallowing from the utility’s rate base and operating expenses the portion of the utility’s payments that represent a return to the manufacturer greater than that allowed the utility itself. Pac. NW Bell Tel. Co. v. Sabin, 21 Or App 200, 534 P2d 984 (1975), Sup Ct review denied

 

      Public Utility Commissioner has power under this section to determine unwarranted rate discrimination. American Can Co. v. Davis, 28 Or App 207, 559 P2d 898 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

 

      The Public Utility Commissioner has authority to impose rate design different from that proposed by utility. Cascade Natural Gas Corp. v. Davis, 28 Or App 621, 560 P2d 301 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

 

      Commissioner has been granted broad legislative authority; consequently commissioner is not obligated to employ any single formula or combination of formulas to determine what are in each case “just and reasonable” rates. Cascade Natural Gas Corp. v. Davis, 28 Or App 621, 560 P2d 301 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

 

      Where disallowances neither violated specific statutory limits upon commissioner’s otherwise plenary ratemaking power nor resulted in imposition of rates that produce taking of private property without just compensation, they were reasonable and lawful. Cascade Natural Gas Corp. v. Davis, 28 Or App 621, 560 P2d 301 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

 

      Approval of contract between utility and “affiliated” manufacturer or of utility’s annual budgets that included payments thereunder did not “estop” commissioner from disallowing portion of payments in determining “just and reasonable” rates. Cascade Natural Gas Corp. v. Davis, 28 Or App 621, 560 P2d 301 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

 

      Public Utility Commissioner’s rule, which passed on utility expenses for payment of county’s net business income tax to county ratepayers only, rather than to all utility ratepayers, was valid because Commissioner is granted both broad regulatory authority over rates by this section and broad rulemaking authority by ORS 756.060. Multnomah County v. Davis, 35 Or App 521, 581 P2d 968 (1978), Sup Ct review denied

 

      This section does not constitute clearly defined statutory grant of authority to Public Utility Commissioner for enactment of “tagline” rule which requires public utilities to tag their advertisements with statement that advertisement is paid for by either customers or stockholders. Pacific Northwest Bell v. Davis, 43 Or App 999, 608 P2d 547 (1979), Sup Ct review denied

 

      Where telecommunications utility retained excess revenue collected under interim rate schedule that was not in compliance with authorized revenue level, PUC did not err in ordering refund. Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Co. v. Katz, 116 Or App 302, 841 P2d 652 (1992), Sup Ct review denied

 

      756.060

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Public Utility Commissioner’s rule, which passed on utility expenses for payment of county’s net business income tax to county ratepayers only, rather than to all ratepayers, was valid because Commissioner is granted both broad regulatory authority over rates by ORS 756.040 and broad rulemaking authority by this section. Multnomah County v. Davis, 35 Or App 521, 581 P2d 968 (1978), Sup Ct review denied

 

      This section does not constitute clearly defined statutory grant of authority to Public Utility Commissioner for enactment of “tagline” rule which requires public utilities to tag their advertisements with statement that advertisement is paid for by either customers or stockholders. Pacific Northwest Bell v. Davis, 43 Or App 999, 608 P2d 547 (1979), Sup Ct review denied

 

ATTY. GEN. OPINIONS: Validity of rule passing on utilities tax to customers within taxing authority, and rule as applying to county and city residents equally, (1972) Vol 36, p 131

 

      756.068

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      The statutory notice procedure of Public Utility Commissioner did not violate due process standards. Egge v. Davis, 27 Or App 383, 556 P2d 153 (1976), Sup Ct review denied

 

      756.185

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      This section does not require that violations be wilful, wanton, or malicious. Holman Transfer Co. v. Pac. NW Bell Tel. Co., 287 Or 387, 599 P2d 1115 (1979)

 

      Where defendant-telephone company’s erroneous directory listing did not violate “adequate service” requirement of ORS 757.020, plaintiff-physician was not entitled to treble damages under this section. Garrison v. Pacific NW Bell, 45 Or App 523, 608 P2d 1206 (1980)

 

      756.310

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Assessment imposed by this section is not prohibited by Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act. Union Pacific Railroad Co. v. Public Utility Commission of Oregon, 899 F2d 854 (9th Cir. 1990)

 

      756.500

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Public Utility Commission may hear complaint of public utility affecting rates or service filed against person whose business or activities are not subject to laws regulated by commission. Roats Water System v. Golfside Investments, LLC, 225 Or App 618, 202 P3d 199 (2009)

 

      756.558

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Summarization of witnesses’ statements without statement in commissioner’s order as to what factual conclusions commissioner drew therefrom did not satisfy requirements that commissioner prepare and enter findings of fact and conclusions of law upon evidence received. Bekins Moving & Storage Co. v. Pub. Util. Commr., 19 Or App 762, 529 P2d 413 (1974)