Entergy Louisiana LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC have asked the Louisiana Public Service Commission for permission to merge into a single utility.

Entergy Louisiana LLC services New Orleans suburbs north to Monroe. Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC services customers from Baton Rouge west to the Texas state line.

Entergy Louisiana President and Chief Executive Officer Phillip May said the move will allow the companies to make the necessary investments in the state’s utility infrastructure.

By 2019, the two companies expect an increase of up to 1,600 megawatts in industrial demand. Providing that power will require significant capital investments in all aspects of the companies’ business — generation, transmission and distribution. Both utilities expect to invest more than $5 billion in the state’s electric infrastructure by 2019.

Entergy officials say combining the companies would spread those costs among all customers, minimizing increases in their bills.

According to Entergy, if the deal closes in 2015, it could produce up to $128 million in customer benefits over the next decade.

Entergy’s Louisiana utility companies provide electric service to more than 1 million customers through the operating companies Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States and natural gas service to nearly 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area through Entergy Gulf States Louisiana.

Entergy Corp.’s stock was up 71 cents, or nearly 1 percent, to close at $78.04 Wednesday.