PG&E, other utilities paid more than $1.7M to ‘coalition’ supporting plot to crush rooftop solar

SAN FRANCISCO – Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDGE) contributed more than $1.7 million in 2020 to many of the organizations that are part of a coalition supporting the proposal to crush California’s popular rooftop solar program being pushed by the utilities, according to records compiled by the nonprofit Protect Our Communities Foundation.

“This astroturf equity coalition paid for by the California investor-owned utilities is their cynical attempt to play the equity card to sink all rooftop solar boats, not raise them,” said Bill Powers, P.E., a long time board member and advisor to the Protect Our Communities Foundation.

“If there is one thing PG&E and the other big utilities do well, it is to buy influence and political cover. This front group, masked as some grassroots coalition, has provided that cover as utilities try to quash rooftop solar,” said EWG President and California resident Ken Cook.

The makeup of the “Affordable Clean Energy for All” coalition that received contributions from the investor-owned utilities appears to be mostly local chapters of the Chamber of Commerce and other business-focused organizations, with virtually no representation from social justice, environmental justice and clean energy advocates. PG&E and its utility cohorts have falsely claimed the current solar program disadvantages working class communities and communities of color.   

The plot to hobble the solar program would institute a hefty monthly tax on ratepayers for the clean energy source. In contrast to the utility-heavy coalition in favor of the plan, the groups that oppose the effort are as diverse as the state, including advocates for environmental justice, affordable housing, renewable power, labor unions, communities of faith, and others.

There are more than 600 organizations in the “Save California Solar” coalition.”


The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action. Visit for more information.

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