If you are a new business in Lodi or an existing business adding employees, the city of Lodi wants to help you out on your utility bill.
Starting on July 1, Lodi Electric Utility will be offering broader incentives to encourage economic growth. Currently, the city offers a variety of discounts, but they target certain customers or industries.
The city provides discounts for businesses focused on green technology, the wine industry or tourism. It also has discounts for being in the Enterprise Zone and industrial businesses that are new or expand their electricity requirements.
All of these discounts sunset on June 30, so the utility had to evaluate if it wanted to replace them.
"It was decided by our group of staffers that we need to make something that casts a wider net to get greater participation," said Rob Lechner, manager of customer service and programs for the city of Lodi.
So the city unveiled two new discounts that apply to every business.
New businesses that open in the city of Lodi and remain open for 12 months can receive discounts for a year ranging from 5 to 15 percent.
For existing businesses, the city will provide a discount of up to 1 percent for every additional full-time employee who works for 12 months. The businesses have to hire a minimum or two to receive the discount and it is capped at 15 percent.
Both discounts sunset on June 30, 2013.
"We wanted to create a program that is more attractive, easier to participate and easier to implement as far as staff," Lechner said.
The utility also will have a third discount that also doesn't sunset until 2013. It is for existing businesses that generate $100,000 or more in new revenue.
Since the city started offering the discounts several years ago, only three businesses have used them and they all took advantage of the tourism and wine discount.
"We are hopeful with our rate discounts it takes some of the stress off of being a business owner," Lechner said.