MILFORD - Local companies are feeling the strain of electric costs and a state lawmaker is calling on them to speak out against potential increases.

Tracy O?Brien, the owner of Marvin Display and Flags in Milford, says she is not sure the company could absorb another increase in electric rates, which is what state Sen. Gayle Slossberg, of Milford, says could happen.

O?Brien says she has already cut overtime for employees, decided against air conditioning and cut her own pay as a result of the bad economy and higher costs of doing business.

United Illuminating, which provides power in southern Connecticut, has asked the state?s Department of Public Utility Control to re-examine its rate.

The request was approved Wednesday evening.Slossberg says UI?s action foretells an increase.

UI says its rates are set in four-year segments, the last one being in 2006.

The company says much has changed since then, and that it is now more expensive to cover the cost of employees and infrastructure.