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The State

August 23, 1985

The state Public Utilities Commission ruled that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. can charge consumers $716 million for construction of the troubled Helms hydroelectric power project. But bills of the average customer--using 500 kilowatt hours of electricity--actually will decline about $2.10 a month because of other PUC rate decisions, according to PG&E revenue manager Jackalyne Pfannenstiel. The 4-1 Helms decision capped three years of debate about how much PG&E could recover from customers for building the underground hydroelectric project in the Sierra, 50 miles east of Fresno. PG&E had asked for a $738-million rate hike, far above the original construction estimate of $234 million.

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