Salt River Project, SolarCity Settle Lawsuit Without Addressing Customer Rates

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 8:52am
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 9:06am

Salt River Project (SRP) and SolarCity reached a deal Tuesday to end a lawsuit over rates charged to customers. While terms of the deal have not been disclosed, the settlement does not address the core issue of the original lawsuit.

SRP raised rates on rooftop-solar customers by approximately 60 percent in 2015. In response, rooftop-solar company SolarCity, now a Tesla subsidiary, filed an antitrust lawsuit, alleging SRP’s action counted as unlawful competition. SRP said public utilities by definition serve the public and are shielded from antitrust laws, but the Center for Biological Diversity — along with other environmental groups — say no.

"The settlement talks nothing about discriminatory rates. It doesn’t talk about exterminating the discriminatory rate that’s out there nor does it talk about preventing further types of discriminatory rates from happening," said Jean Su, associate conservation director.

The Supreme Court had scheduled to hear the case on March 19 and then rescheduled to April. This settlement is final.

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