Five climate and energy-conservation groups have taken legal action in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge an Arizona public power utility’s discrimination against rooftop-solar customers.
The Salt River Project, a public power utility in Arizona, raised electricity rates for rooftop-solar customers by 60%. In response, rooftop-solar customers challenged the utility for the discriminatory rates that penalize them, in violation of the antitrust laws.
“The Salt River Project’s discriminatory rates unlawfully penalize families who embrace solar energy and want to protect Arizona’s air quality,” says Jean Su, director of the energy justice program at the Center for Biological Diversity.
“It’s outrageous that fossil fuel utilities like Salt River are using anticompetitive tactics to strangle rooftop solar and protect their profits. Especially in this era of COVID-19 and the climate emergency, these utilities must be stopped from obstructing energy resilience and our desperately needed transition to a clean and just energy system,” Su adds.
A lower court dismissed the case on antitrust injury grounds. The recent amicus brief opposes the dismissal and urges the appeals court to remand the case back to the lower court to address the utility’s antitrust violations.