Test to Determine Whether Utility Services Are Being Offered for the Public
In Waltman v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 142 Pa. Commw. 44, 596 A.2d 1221, 1223 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1991), affirmed, 533 Pa. 304, 621 A.2d 994 (1993), the Court noted that our Supreme Court had previously explained the test for determining whether utility services are being offered "for the public" as follows:
Whether or not such person holds himself out, expressly or impliedly, as engaged in the business of supplying his product or service to the public, as a class, or to any limited portion of it, as contradistinguished from holding himself out as serving or ready to serve only particular individuals.
The Court also indicated in Waltman that "the private or public character of a business does not depend upon the number of persons who actually use the service; rather, the proper characterization rests upon whether or not the service is available to all members of the public who may require the service." Id. at 1224;
See also UGI Utilities, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 684 A.2d 225 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1996).
Further, the Court stated in Waltman that "the fact that only a limited number of persons may have occasion to use a utility's service does not make it a private undertaking if the general public has a right to subscribe to such a service." Waltman, 596 A.2d at 1224.