You want HOW much?

One of the pains of moving that we forgot was the great “security deposit” that utility companies make you pay. Right now we’re pushing $500 we need to put down since the area we’re moving to isn’t supported by our current companies. What I don’t get is how are these used besides a means of holding my money? I called the gas company once thinking that it would be used to cover any expenses and the lady said she didn’t know what it’s used for. You’d think that a letter from my current utility company saying “he has always paid on time” would be sufficient but it’s not. Everyone dicks you for money and there’s nothing we can do about it.