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6 N.J.A.R. 633

Public Service Electric & Gas Co., In the Matter of
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Citation: 6 N.J.A.R. 633
Decision Date: 1981
Synopsis: Public Service Electric Gas Co. sought to increase its rates for both gas and electric service. The administrative law judge assigned to the case determined that on the issue of rate base, that a reasonable standard for inclusion of items in plant held for future use is that if it is probable they will be put to use during the period in which the rates approved will be in effect and that there is a special intended use and/or a special need of petitioner's customers for which that use is intended, the items may be included. As to the issue of working capital, the judge found that a major consideration in determining the petitioner's cash working requirements was the fact that the revenue lag had been substantially increasing since 1979. Accordingly, the judge concluded that the peti- tioner's cash working capital allowances should be zero. As to a wholly owned subsidiary of petitioner which engages in gas exploration, the judge concluded that current regulation by the Board of Public Utilities should continue. As to operating income, the administrative law judge disallowed charitable donations as they related to petitioner's proforma operating expenses. The judge concluded that nuclear fuel division costs should be recovered through base rates and normalized taxes relating to nuclear decommissioning costs. In balancing the interests of the utility and its customers, the judge noted that the return to equity must be commensurate with return in investments and other enterprises having corresponding risks and concluded that a reasonable rate of return for petitioner was 10.55 percent. William R. Watkins, Esq., for the New Jersey Energy Users Associa- tion, intervenor (Lindabury, McCormick & Estabrook, attorneys) Richard A. Levao, Esq., for Linden Chemical & Plastics, intervenor (Shanley & Fisher, attorneys) In Re: Public Service Electric & Gas Co. Albert J. Scarduzio, County Counsel, for Camden County, inter- yenor R. Brian Corcoran, Esq., for Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corp., in- terrenor (Connole & O'Connel, attorneys) Martin Verp, County Counsel, for Passaic County, intervenor William E. Ozzard, County Counsel, for Somerset County, inter- yenor Edward Lloyd, Esq., for the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group and the New Jersey Federation of Senior Citizens, intervenors Robert C. Doherty, County Counsel, for Union County, intervenor Michael Mouber, Assistant County Solicitor, for Burlington Coun- ty, intervenor Renee C. Ricciardelli, Township Attorney, for Hamilton Township, intervenor C. Douglas Goins, Esq., U.S. Army Legal Services Agency, for the United States Department of Defense and all other executive agencies of the Federal Government, intervenors John J. Hoagland, County Counsel, for Middlesex County, inter- yenor Richard T. O'Connor, Counsel Counsel, for Monmouth County, intervenor Russell E. Paul, Counsel Counsel, for Gloucester County, inter- yenor Carl W. Ulrich, Esq., for Phelps Dodge Industries, Inc., intervenor (Chapman, Duff & Paul, attorneys) Robert D. Westreich, Esq., for the New Jersey Association of Coun- ties, Essex County and Atlantic County, intervenors William J. Schwartz, Assistant Corporate Counsel, for the City of Newark, intervenor Allen Goldberg, Pro Se, intervenor