Power lines in Hillmeade, Md.
Pepco, a utility company serving the Washington suburbs, has asked Maryland regulators for a rate increase.
The rate hike would add about $7 to residential customers' average monthly bill. Utility officials also asked to impose a surcharge of about $1 a month starting in 2014.
In a statement, Pepco claims it's been working on upgrades for more than two years. Regional president Tom Graham says as a result, customers are experiencing fewer outages, and they're not lasting as long.
The utility was heavily criticized for its response to a fast-moving storm this summer. But it was praised for getting the lights back on quickly after Hurricane Sandy, which didn't hit the Washington area as hard as first expected.