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PPUC ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE RECOMMENDS APPROVAL OF PG&W RATE SETTLEMENT

 WILKES-BARRE, Pa., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Gas and Water Company (PG&W) announced today the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PPUC) Administrative Law Judge George M. Kashi has recommended that the PPUC approve a Joint Settlement of a rate increase request intended to provide PG&W with $1,999,028 of its originally requested $4,424,400 for customers served by the Crystal Lake Water Treatment Plant in PG&W's Spring Brook rate area.
 In his decision, the judge recommended that the rates be phased-in over a two-year period with $1,088,315 to be recovered in the first year and $910,713 in the second. PG&W, the Office of Trial Staff (OTS), the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA), the Pennsylvania Office of Small Business Advocate (OSBA) and Harris Corporation-Semiconductor Sector are parties to the settlement.
 The proposed settlement is subject to approval by the PPUC. PG&W officials noted that the settlement, if approved by the PPUC, will have a favorable financial impact on the company in terms of cash flow, but largely due to increased expenses associated with the Crystal Lake Water Treatment Plant, the effect on net income will be minimal.
 Under the proposed increase, the bill for a typical metered residential customer receiving filtered water and using 5,418 gallons would increase from $12.32 to $21.54 per month, or by 71.88 percent in phase one of the increase. In the second phase, rates would rise to $28.42 or 32.63 percent.
 In the filing, PG&W officials cited the $12 million cost of construction of the Crystal Lake Water Treatment Plant and related facilities which were required to meet federal and state safe drinking water regulations, as well as higher operating expenses incurred by the company during the 10 years since the last increase. According to PG&W, however, the filter plant is just one part of a comprehensive water quality improvement program.
 Public input and evidentiary hearings were conducted in October of 1992 before Kashi. The recommendation of the Administrative Law Judge is one step in the rate proceeding.
 PG&W is the principal operating subsidiary of Pennsylvania Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: PENT) and serves approximately 130,000 water customers and 130,000 natural gas customers in northeastern Pennsylvania.
 -0- 2/9/93
 /CONTACT: Juneann Greco of Pennsylvania Enterprises, 717-829-8825/
 (PENT)


CO: Pennsylvania Gas and Water Company; Pennsylvania Public Utility
 Commission; Pennsylvania Enterprises, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU:


MP-MK -- PH018 -- 4571 02/09/93 10:48 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 9, 1993
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