On Wednesday, a group of Latino and environmental groups held a rally outside of the Southern California Edison headquarters in Rosemead. Presente.org, the Chicano Indigenous Community for Culturally Conscious Advocacy and Action, and the Sierra Club organized the event to protest the energy company’s effort to halt rooftop solar panel initiatives.
Solar initiatives cut into the profits of the utility companies because solar energy generated from one’s roof competes with the energy source being sold by the company. The use of solar panels should lessen the energy cost to the consumer.
SoCal Edison has lobbied Assemblyman Henry Perea to add fixed charges to electric bills for consumers in AB 327; these charges could not be offset with use of rooftop solar. The groups who led the rally argue that AB 327 would restructure rates to favor the utility companies, while supporters of the bill argue that AB 327 will allow the California Public Utility Commission to set equitable rates for customers while protecting rates for low income and disabled customers.
The groups against AB 327 even released a satirical youtube video that mocked SoCal Edison’s effort to lobby politicians to limit rooftop solar; SoCal Edison has fought to take the video off the internet because it represents itself as an Edison production.
In a statement released earlier this week, the executive director of Presente.org, Arturo Carmona said, “Southern California Edison’s threats against us are a joke. Instead of trying to divert the public’s attention by threatening to take legal action against our video parody, Edison and other utilities need to tell the public why they’ve spent nearly $900,000 lobbying Latino legislators. Our video parody exposes how and why they are trying to deliver a lethal blow on the future of rooftop solar.”
Beyond consumer rates, the number of solar energy jobs has been growing in recent years.
Photo Credit: Mel Wang