FirstEnergy Corp. is asking state regulators to approve a roughly two percent increase in Ohio residential customers’ monthly electric bill to help speed up response to power outages and modernize the distribution grid.

The Akron-based utility filed a detailed proposal with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on Friday, the company said in a news release.

The plan outlines a three-year, $450 million investment in projects serving customers of Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating and Toledo Edison.

On average, FirstEnergy expects this work could reduce outages under normal conditions by as much as 30 percent or more, and speed restoration time by up to 25 percent on power lines targeted in the plan, the release said. reported that FirstEnergy hopes to have PUCO approval for the rate increase by May.

“Portions of our system were originally designed to serve hundreds of customers on single, standalone lines, meaning a single outage could leave many customers without power until repairs are made,” said Steve Strah, president of FirstEnergy Utilities. “Our plan would allow us to isolate damage to a confined area and allow other customers along the line to be quickly restored by rerouting power from nearby lines. These investments will help us meet our customers’ high expectations by reducing outages and restoring power faster across our Ohio footprint.”