A-6597, MARCH 3, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 727

A-6597: Mar 3, 1925

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THE METHOD TO BE USED IN COMPUTING THE COST OF THE CURRENT CONSUMED WHERE SUCH CURRENT IS FURNISHED THROUGH SEVERAL METERS. IS TO APPLY THE SCALE OF RATES TO THE READING OF EACH INDIVIDUAL METER. ANY PREVIOUS RULINGS IN CONFLICT HEREWITH WILL NOT BE FOLLOWED HEREAFTER. UNLESS THE CONSOLIDATED READING IS EXPRESSLY CONTRACTED FOR. THE AMOUNTS OF THE CLAIMS THEREUNDER ARE AS FOLLOWS: TABLE APRIL 4. WERE DEDUCTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN PAYMENT OF MONTHLY BILLS SUBMITTED BY THE COMPANY. CLAIMS THEREFOR WERE FILED IN THIS OFFICE. DISALLOWANCE WAS UPON THE GROUND THAT WHERE UNDER A CONTRACT PROVIDING FOR SERVICES ON A SLIDING SCALE THE CURRENT IS FURNISHED THROUGH SEVERAL METERS. THE METER READINGS ARE TO BE CONSOLIDATED AND THE SLIDING SCALE APPLIED TO THE TOTAL CONSUMPTION AND NOT TO THE READING OF EACH INDIVIDUAL METER.

A-6597, MARCH 3, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 727

PURCHASES - ELECTRIC CURRENT UNDER A CONTRACT PROVIDING FOR THE FURNISHING OF ELECTRIC CURRENT TO THE UNITED STATES ON A SIDING SCALE BASIS, THE METHOD TO BE USED IN COMPUTING THE COST OF THE CURRENT CONSUMED WHERE SUCH CURRENT IS FURNISHED THROUGH SEVERAL METERS, IS TO APPLY THE SCALE OF RATES TO THE READING OF EACH INDIVIDUAL METER, RATHER THAN TO A CONSOLIDATION OF THE READINGS OF ALL THE METERS. ANY PREVIOUS RULINGS IN CONFLICT HEREWITH WILL NOT BE FOLLOWED HEREAFTER, UNLESS THE CONSOLIDATED READING IS EXPRESSLY CONTRACTED FOR.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MARCH 3, 1925:

SAN ANTONIO PUBLIC SERVICE CO. APPLIED ON NOVEMBER 21, 1924, FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENTS 02740 DISALLOWING ITS CLAIMS FOR ALLEGED BALANCES, AMOUNTING TO $304.50, DUE FOR ELECTRIC CURRENT FURNISHED THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU VOCATIONAL SCHOOL, SAN ANTONIO, TEX., FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 27, 1923, TO MAY 27, 1924, UNDER TWO CONTRACTS DATED MARCH 24, 1923, FOR LIGHT AND POWER, RESPECTIVELY. THE DATES OF THE SEVERAL SETTLEMENTS, THE PERIOD OF SERVICE COVERED, AND THE AMOUNTS OF THE CLAIMS THEREUNDER ARE AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE APRIL 4, 1924, COVERING PERIOD NOVEMBER 27 TO DECEMBER 27,

1923 -------------------------------------------------------- $62.66 APRIL 15, 1924, COVERING PERIOD DECEMBER 28, 1923, TO JANUARY

29, 1924 ---------------------------------------------------- 68.57 JUNE 7, 1924, COVERING PERIOD FEBRUARY 27 TO MARCH 27, 1924 ---- 65.27 JUNE 18, 1924, COVERING PERIOD JANUARY 29 TO FEBRUARY 27, 1924 63.56 JULY 23, 1924, COVERING PERIOD MARCH 27 TO APRIL 26, 1924 ---- - 40.12 SEPTEMBER 19, 1924, COVERING PERIOD APRIL 26 TO MAY 27, 1924 -- 4.32

304.50

THE SEVERAL AMOUNTS TOTALING $304.50, WHICH REPRESENT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PRICE OF THE CURRENT, AT SLIDING SCALE RATES, COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF SEPARATE METER READINGS AND THE PRICE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF CONSOLIDATED METER READINGS, WERE DEDUCTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN PAYMENT OF MONTHLY BILLS SUBMITTED BY THE COMPANY, AND CLAIMS THEREFOR WERE FILED IN THIS OFFICE. DISALLOWANCE WAS UPON THE GROUND THAT WHERE UNDER A CONTRACT PROVIDING FOR SERVICES ON A SLIDING SCALE THE CURRENT IS FURNISHED THROUGH SEVERAL METERS, THE METER READINGS ARE TO BE CONSOLIDATED AND THE SLIDING SCALE APPLIED TO THE TOTAL CONSUMPTION AND NOT TO THE READING OF EACH INDIVIDUAL METER. THIS WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH DECISION OF THIS OFFICE AUGUST 14, 1923 (REVIEW NO. 3074), IN THE MATTER OF THE CLAIM OF THE DOUGLAS TRACTION AND LIGHT CO., BASED ON THE RULING OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY IN 27 COMP. DEC. 762.

TWO CONTRACTS WERE ENTERED INTO, EACH DATED MARCH 24, 1923, THE ONE FOR FURNISHING ELECTRIC LIGHT, THE OTHER POWER, TO THE VOCATIONAL SCHOOL DURING THE FISCAL YEAR COMMENCING JULY 1, 1923, AND ENDING JUNE 30, 1924. THE FIRST NAMED PROVIDED FOR:

FURNISHING ELECTRIC LIGHT TO THE U.S. VETERANS' BUREAU VOCATIONAL SCHOOL AT WEST WACO AND WOOLEY AVENUE, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, AT THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE OF/RATES:

FOR THE FIRST 25 KILOWATTS, AT 10 CENTS PER KWHR.

FOR THE NEXT 75 KILOWATTS, AT 8 CENTS PER KWHR.

FOR THE NEXT 900 KILOWATTS, AT 7 CENTS PER KWHR.

FOR THE NEXT 2,000 KILOWATTS, AT 6 CENTS PER KWHR.

ALL OVER 3,000 KILOWATTS, AT 5 CENTS PER KWHR.

THE ABOVE RATES ARE SUBJECT TO 10 PERCENT DISCOUNT IF PAID BEFORE THE LAST DISCOUNT DATE.

MINIMUM MONTHLY CHARGE PER METER 50 CENTS.

THE RATES SPECIFIED HEREIN ARE NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE CHARGED THE GENERAL PUBLIC FOR SIMILAR SERVICE AND ARE SUBJECT TO ANY CHANGES MADE BY A DULY AUTHORIZED STATE OR GOVERNMENT COMMISSION DURING THE PERIOD OF THE CONTRACT.

THE SECOND-NAMED CONTRACT PROVIDED FOR:

ALTERNATING CURRENT POWER FOR THE PURPOSE OF RUNNING THE MACHINERY FOR INSTRUCTIONAL PURPOSES AT VETERANS' VOCATIONAL SCHOOL, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, AT THE FOLLOWING RATES, IT BEING UNDERSTOOD THAT THE DEMAND FOR 3-PHASE POWER WILL NOT EXCEED A MAXIMUM OF 40 H.P., AND THE DEMAND FOR SINGLE PHASE WILL NOT EXCEED A MAXIMUM OF 10 H.P. FOR THE 1ST 500 KILOWATTS, 5 1/2 CENTS PER KWH; FOR THE NEXT 9,000 KILOWATTS, 3 1/2 CENTS PER KWH.; FOR THE NEXT 500 KILOWATTS, 4 1/2 CENTS PER KWH. ALL OVER 10,000 KILOWATTS 2 1/2 CENTS PER KWH. MINIMUM MONTHLY CHARGE PER METER, 50 CENTS.

ALTERNATE POWER RATE

FACTORY POWER RATE: THIS RATE IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO ALTERNATING CURRENT MOTORS AND EXCLUDES D.C. MOTORS, CEILING FANS, ELECTRIC IRONS, INCANDESCENT LIGHTS, AND OTHER APPLIANCES. THE RATE IS AS FOLLOWS: 2 CENTS PER KILOWATT HOUR FOR THE FIRST 1,000 KILOWATT HOURS AND 1 1/2 CENTS PER KILOWATT HOUR FOR ALL CURRENT USED IN ADDITION, PLUS $2.00 PER MO. PER KILOWATT DEMAND. THE DEMAND IS FIGURED ON THE FOLLOWING BASIS: FROM 1 TO 10 KILOWATTS RATED CAPACITY WHERE ONLY ONE MOTOR IS USED 90 PERCENT OF THE RATED CAPACITY OF THE MOTOR. FROM 1 TO 10 KILOWATTS RATED CAPACITY WHERE MORE THAN ONE MOTOR IS USED, 80 PERCENT OF THE RATED CAPACITY OF THE MOTORS. AND IN ADDITION TO THE CHARGE FOR THE FIRST 10 KILOWATTS FOR ALL INSTALLATIONS ABOVE 10 KILOWATTS, 70 PERCENT OF THE RATED CAPACITY OF THE MOTOR.

THE ABOVE RATES ARE SUBJECT TO 10 PERCENT DISCOUNT IF PAID BEFORE

LAST DISCOUNT DAY

THE RATES SPECIFIED HEREIN ARE NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE CHARGED THE GENERAL PUBLIC FOR SIMILAR SERVICE AND ARE SUBJECT TO ANY CHANGES MADE BY A DULY AUTHORIZED STATE OR GOVERNMENT COMMISSION DURING THE PERIOD OF THE CONTRACT.

THE CLAIMANT COMPANY IN ITS REQUEST FOR REVIEW STATES THAT IT IS A UNIVERSAL AND ESTABLISHED CUSTOM IN SAN ANTONIO TO APPLY A SLIDING SCALE ONLY TO THE ELECTRICITY FURNISHED THROUGH ONE METER AND NOT TO THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT FURNISHED THROUGH SEVERAL METERS ALTHOUGH FURNISHED TO ONE CONSUMER. IT ALSO STATES THAT THE BUILDINGS NOW OCCUPIED BY THE VETERANS' BUREAU WERE FORMERLY USED AS A MILITARY SCHOOL, THE BUILDINGS OF WHICH WERE SCATTERED AND WERE ON DIFFERENT SIDES OF STREETS, AND THE ELECTRIC WIRING WAS SUCH THAT THEY WERE COMPELLED TO MAINTAIN SEVERAL METERS FOR EACH CLASS OF SERVICE; THAT THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT CHANGE THIS PHYSICAL CONDITION; THAT AT THE TIME THE CONTRACTS WERE MADE THE WIRING WAS NOT SUCH THAT A SINGLE METER COULD BE SET FOR EACH CLASS OF SERVICE; AND THAT IT CAN NOT BE EXPECTED TO INCUR THE EXPENSE OF INSTALLING AND MAINTAINING NUMEROUS METERS, HAVE THEM READ AND BILLED INDIVIDUALLY EACH MONTH, AND THEN BE PAID FOR THE ULTIMATE CONSUMPTION ON A SCHEDULE QUOTED FOR AN INDIVIDUAL METER.

IN NEITHER OF THE CONTRACTS IS IT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THAT THE SLIDING SCALE OF RATES IS TO BE APPLIED TO THE AGGREGATE OF THE SEVERAL METER READINGS. A MINIMUM MONTHLY CHARGE, HOWEVER, FOR EACH METER IS SPECIFIED. IT IS ALSO PROVIDED THAT THE RATES SPECIFIED ARE NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE CHARGED THE GENERAL PUBLIC FOR SIMILAR SERVICE AND ARE SUBJECT TO ANY CHANGES MADE BY A DULY AUTHORIZED STATE OR GOVERNMENT COMMISSION DURING THE PERIOD OF THE CONTRACT. THE NORMAL AND PRACTICAL PROCEDURE APPARENTLY IS TO APPLY THE SLIDING SCALE OF RATES ONLY TO INDIVIDUAL METER READINGS AND NOT TO THE AGGREGATE OF THE SEVERAL METER READINGS. THE GOVERNMENT IS THUS REQUIRED TO PAY NO MORE UNDER ITS CONTRACT THAN INDIVIDUALS OR THE GENERAL PUBLIC WOULD BE REQUIRED TO PAY UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. THE CONSOLIDATION OF METER READINGS, UNDER THE FACTS HERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE AN EXCEPTIONAL AND UNUSUAL PROCEDURE, AND AS SUCH TO BE EXPRESSLY CONTRACTED FOR. THIS WAS NOT DONE, AND THE CLAIM HERE IN QUESTION IS NOW ALLOWED. ANY PREVIOUS RULING BY THIS OFFICE CONTRARY TO THE PRESENT DECISION WILL NOT HEREAFTER BE FOLLOWED. SEE IN THIS CONNECTION DECISION OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS RENDERED JANUARY 26, 1925, IN DOUGLAS TRACTION AND LIGHT CO. V. THE UNITED STATES.