In West Virginia, where electric power prices are still regulated much as they once were in Maryland, Allegheny Power has asked for a $100 million power rate increase, to cover rising fuel costs.
It's a sign of things to come for Maryland, where residential rate caps set in a 1999 bill expire in 2008.
Rates in the Mountain State haven't gone up since 1994, though there was a fuel rate adjustment in 1998.
A spokesman for the utility said the increase being sought would increase the typical residential customer's bill by $7 to $77 per month, or about 10.3 percent.
As justification for the rate-increase proposal, Allegheny officials said costs for coal have increased by 21 percent in the past eight years. In the same time frame, they said, natural gas prices have gone up by 88 percent.