Regulators allowed Pacific Gas & Electric an estimated $482 million rate increase to cover rising fuel costs. The official $482 million tab could rise or fall. \u201cFrom a credit perspective,\u201d the increase satisfies bondholders, said Anne Selting, Standard & Poor\u2019s analyst. \u201cIt allows recovery of a forecasted shortfall\u201d of income. The utility is \u201chighly gas dependent,\u201d because of the number of natural gas fueled power plants, she added. The August 21 decision by the California Public Utilities Commission, allows for a general 4.4 percent rate increase. It is set to go into effect October 1, according to a PG&E spokesperson. That amount may change, and could be as high as 11 percent, according to Standard & Poor\u2019s. It will be determined by the utility\u2019s update expected to be filed at the commission at the end of this month. Standard & Poor\u2019s gave the utility a BBB+ rating. This relatively high rating allows the utility to borrow money at a lower interest rate. PG&E divested nearly all of its fossil fuel power plants in the mid-1990s due to deregulation. Recently, however, it has been back in the fossil plant business with new plants being built in the Bay Area and in northeastern California. Borrowed capital funds would likely be used to cover capital expenses for those power plants.