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P. G. & E. Eyes Rate Hike

Sacramento, CA — Mother Lode residents and other Californians could see higher utility rates and a decline in customer service if P.G.& E. is granted a proposal presented to state regulators yesterday.

P.G.& E. is looking at shutting down customer service counters at local offices and raising natural gas rates by about 2.7% and electric rates by about 5.6% in 2007.

The proposal also calls for automatic rate increases in 2008 and 2009.