Appalachian Power, an electricity provider in Virgina and surrounding states, is looking to raise rates for nearly 500,000 Virginia customers because it claims that the cost of producing and delivering electricity has gone up, WCYB reports.

However, before these rates are finalized the company must go before the State Corporation Commission. This organization began a public hearing this week to look at the utility company's electricity rates. The examination is a result of a 2007 law that requires such a review every two years, states the news source.

The commission believes that Appalachian Power should increase its base rates to cover increasing costs, but not as much as the business has proposed. Regulators are discouraged by state lawmakers from raising customer rates, so this decision will be handled with care.

According to the business' website, Appalachian Power customers have a number of options when it comes to saving money, including energy efficiency incentive programs for customers in West Virginia and Tennessee, such as a low income weatherization program and rebates for purchasing Energy Star light bulbs. Currently, no energy efficiency incentives are available in Virginia.