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PG&E rates jump average of 6 percent
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Monthly rates for California’s largest provider of electricity and natural gas service are going up by nearly 6 percent for the average home.

The Pacific Gas and Electric Co. rate hikes started Thursday.

The extra money will help cover the cost for replacing old gas distribution lines, installing more equipment to minimize blackouts, and hiring more workers for the utility’s call centers, among other things.

PG&E serves about 16 million people across Northern and Central California, from Bakersfield almost to the Oregon border.

In August, the California Public Utilities Commission gave the utility the green light to collect an extra $2.37 billion from its customers over three years.

The rate hike is the largest since 2006. Some businesses will also see a small rate increase.