If you rely on Atlantic City Electric for your power service, you may soon need to open the wallet a little wider. The utility is currently looking into increasing their rates.

Atlantic City Electricity crew makes repairs (WMGM TV)

The utility company has submitted a request with the Board of Public Utilities for a 7 percent rate increase. If approved, customers would be paying about $12.69 more a month. The money will be spent on capital improvements, upgrades to equipment and restoration costs associated with Hurricane Irene, this past Summer's Derecho and Superstorm Sandy.

Region President Vincent Maione says despite all of the wacky weather, "Our customers have seen greater reliability through the upgrades we've made in the last few years. We are confident that this will continue as we make some new adjustments. We would rather be prepared and that's why being pro-active is the key."

The application filed on Tuesday with the BPU asks for a base rate adjustment of about $69.7 million. The base rate refers to the charge of distributing electricity, not the separate cost of producing the actual juice. The BPU process takes about a year.

Maione says, "Atlantic City Electric strives to keep costs to a minimum. However, in order to continue providing quality service, it's important to invest in new infrastructure and upgrade existing electrical systems."

According to Maione, the average residential customer uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month for a bill of $182. That customer's bill would rise to just under $195.00 if the adjustment is approved.