If I read it correctly, the issue is they were on the grid then went off-grid. The utility company spent money putting in infrastructure to service people. If these people disconnect from the grid that expense needs to be spread out to the remaining customers. I see the same thing in Alabama where excessive sewer bond problems are giving people a $150 sewer bill so they are installing septic systems. Who is going to pay the bond? I predict they will assessed a $150 bond charge in place of their sewer bill.
The utilities need to come clean. If you are in their service area, charge an infrastructure tax to everybody. Those that use their service will also pay for product used (electric, water etc.). I dont like paying this if I dont use their service but it is a public utility and that's life in the city. If services were not available when you build, then they have no right to charge an infrastructure fee if and when they bring service to your area. It's only common sense.