Southern California Edison (SCE) "hates rooftop solar." That's the premise of a fake, satirical commercial (see below) made by Presente.org, a Latino activist organization.
Presente.org teamed up with the Sierra Club and The Other 98% for its "Save Rooftop Solar" campaign, which seeks to fight big utilities' antagonism towards rooftop solar. The campaign created this spoof of an SCE commercial, which then went viral:
The organization argues that California utilities such as SCE, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) "are heavily lobbying Latino leaders" to get them to "support efforts to obstruct California's rooftop solar growth" even though "California Latino voters support rooftop solar by wide margins," according to Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente.org.
Presente.org cites a recent bill introduced by Fresno-area Assembly member Henry T. Perea, AB 327, which would penalize ratepayers who have net-metered rooftop solar, reflecting a repeatedly-countered utility talking point that people who generate their own electricity aren't paying their fair share of the state's grid operation cost. Perea's bill would allow utilities to charge a monthly $10 fee for access to the grid, though that could be reduced to $5 a month for households making under 200 percent the state poverty line.
Presente.org points out that families asked to provide an additional $120 a year to the electric company might find that a disincentive to going solar.
SCE can't be happy with the negative publicity from the fake ad, particularly on the heels of the whole SONGS debacle. But, in all likelihood, SCE will publicly ignore the criticism, not wanting to draw more attention to itself and the issue, and continue to fight behind-the-scenes.
UPDATE: SCE has now threatened legal action—but Presente.org says the threats are "a joke" and have vowed to up the ante. Click here for more details on this developing story.