Appalachian Power is asking Virginia regulators to increase the amount it charges its customers for its electric transmission costs.

The utility filed a request with the Virginia State Corporation Commission on Wednesday. The company says it's the first rate change it has sought for transmission infrastructure improvements since 2009.

The company is asking for an annual increase of $49.9 million. If approved, the change would increase the monthly bill for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours by $3.98 beginning in May.

Appalachian Power serves about 500,000 customers in Virginia.