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HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania Consumer Advocate Sonny Popowsky announced today that his Office has intervened on behalf of customers in Penn Estates Utilities Inc.ís proposed rate increase requests. On May 29, 2003, Penn Estates Utilities, Inc. asked the Public Utility Commission to allow it to increase its water rates by $88,361, or 27.5%. It also asked the Public Utility Commission to allow it to increase its sewer rates by $106,082, or 18.3%

Mr. Popowsky stated that his Office will investigate the Company's claims over the next several months. "Upon completion of our investigation," he continued, "we will recommend to the PUC how much of an increase, if any, appears to be justified." The Consumer Advocateís Office also will investigate the quality of service provided by the Company.

Penn Estates Utilities, Inc. provides water and sewer service to approximately 1,545 customers and 235 availability customers in Pocono and Stroud Townships, Monroe County.

The Office of Consumer Advocate is authorized by state law to represent the interests of utility consumers in cases before the PUC. If consumers have any questions about this case or any other utility-related matters they can reach the Office of Consumer Advocate toll-free at 800-684-6560 or,. They can also visit the OCA website at



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