Federal appeals court finds SRP can be held liable for violating antitrust laws

By Greg Hahne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2022 - 11:26am
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A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Salt River Project can be held liable for violating antitrust laws by charging higher electricity rates for those who install solar panels. 

A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel unanimously rejected SRP’s claims that its pricing structure is protected by federal and state laws.

The judges said there is sufficient evidence the pricing was used to deter customers from buying solar panels, forcing them to buy electricity from the utility company. 

In 2014, SRP adopted a pricing plan that required solar customers to be hooked up to the grid  when solar power isn’t available. Those customers could be charged up to 65% more than previous plans, while non-solar plans increased by about 4%.

The case will go back to the trial judge to decide the extent of the utility’s conduct and damages to SRP customers.

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