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State Dems Asks Utilities to Give Small Businesses a Break
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Democratic State lawmakers are joining leaders of public utility companies to help new business pay for energy costs.

Senate President Pro Tem Don Williams is asking major public utility companies to back off a policy that requires businesses to pay a three-month security deposit at the time they sign-up for electricity.

"That capital can make the difference between having the resources necessary to go forward, and thrive, and make it, or not being able to get stated at all. And at this time, when every job is critical, every new business we want to encourage to stay here in Connecticut, and to begin business, and to thrive here in Connecticut. We've got to think outside the box and do everything that we can to help in that process.

The Community Economic Development Fund , a small business group, brought the idea to lawmakers.

Ray Necci, president and chief operating officer of Connecticut Light & Power, says the effort would provide help to businesses on case by case.   

"We're willing to go through and address each of these individual customer's request on an individual basis, and we'll look at the need for deposit, whether there is something we can do to work with them, and reduce this burden that some of them have found very difficult. "

Senator Williams says the three-month deposit policy has not been suspended, nor is he considering any legislation to end the practice, which was approved in 2004 by the Department of Public Utility Control.

Williams plans to reach out to other utilities in the state, including the United Illuminating Company, to ask them to review their policies.