SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) — Californians were warned Saturday that their power bills could skyrocket by anywhere from 50 to 100 percent as the state scrambles to find ways to keep the electricity flowing until its cash-strapped utilities get back on their feet.

The prospect of higher power bills was floated late Friday by senior aides to Gov. Gray Davis, who has repeatedly vowed to fix California's energy mess without passing along sharply higher power bills to consumers.

Davis spokesman Steve Maviglio said Saturday the governor "is still hoping and has the expectation" that the fix can be accomplished within the existing rate structure.

"Any numbers put out now are still wildly speculative," Maviglio said, adding that the briefing involved a number of different scenarios.