Public Service Commission

Daniel Jordan, Esquire

No ratemaking, no regulation, of non-economic liabilities. Public Service Commission of The State of Missouri v. Missouri Gas Energy, A Division of Southern Union Company; Office of Public Counsel, No. 74732 (Mo. App. W.D., October 23, 2012), Welsh, C.J.

Public Service Commission determined that portions of utility’s tariff were unjust and unreasonable insofar as they purported to immunize utility from liability depending on degree of culpability.

Held: Reversed.
Immunity is just and reasonable only if it takes the form of a cap on economic damages. Utility’s liability for economic damages is “at least indirectly involved in establishing a utility company’s rates [,]” but personal and property damages are not, so commission may not limit personal and property damages. Regulation on summary determination does not require recital of public interest in using that procedure. Superseded tariff is moot but is subject to review as a matter of public interest requiring future guidance. 

Burden of proof in prudence review discussed AG Processing, Inc., a Cooperative; Missouri Public Service Commission, Office of Public Counsel v. KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, No. 74601 (Mo. App. W.D., October 23, 2012), Hardwick, J.

On filing of complaint, Public Service Commission determined whether utility had shown that its practice was prudent. 

Held: Reversed.
Complaint alleging imprudent expenditures is no different from any other complaint.  “Granting relief [against utility] without requiring [complainant] to prove the allegations in its complaint was error.”