What’s SNEW? Deposit policy cuts up-front cash layout for new businesses

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) announces a new electric security deposit policy for South Norwalk Electric and Water (SNEW) Tuesday at the Brewhouse Restaurant in SoNo.

NORWALK, Conn. – Businesses planning to open in Norwalk’s Second Taxing District will find it less costly to get the doors open.

South Norwalk Electric and Water (SNEW) has agreed to modify its deposit policy that has required businesses to pay up front for three months’ worth of estimated usage. SNEW will still require a three-month deposit for new non-residential accounts, but, in lieu of cash, the business may instead provide a letter of credit, secured interest in the property or any comparable financial instrument. Moreover, any business may now substitute their cash deposit for an alternative form of deposit at any time — a significant benefit to many existing companies.

A compromise on the deposit policy was reached after the issue came before the General Assembly and its Energy & Technology Committee, which is chaired by State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). The announcement was made Tuesday via press release from the Connecticut Senate Democrats following a morning press conference at The Brewhouse Restaurant in Norwalk.

The debate was pushed forward by The Brewhouse at 13 Marshall St. in SoNo.

“When you’re trying to get a business started, having to put a lot of money down just to get the lights turned on is a real burden,” said Lou Montanari, owner of the Brewhouse Restaurant. “We had to put down $16,000 to get our business started here, when we bought this property from the former owner. That kind of expense isn’t always in the plans, until it appears at the eleventh hour. It’s nice to see that things could be worked out though, and that there will be a new deposit policy now. They’re doing the right thing.”

“When this issue first came to us in the legislature, it was in the form of a bill,” said state Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), who chairs the General Assembly’s Energy & Technology Committee. “But rather than passing a new law, we brought everybody to the table, business owners and SNEW, and came to an agreement that works for everyone. It provides security to the utility and its ratepayers, while significantly lightening the load on new and even long-time business owners.”

The new deposit policy is now in effect. Current non-residential SNEW customers interested in substituting an alternate deposit for their cash deposit may contact the utility at 203-866-3366.




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