Utility Front Group Advertisement Tracker: Exposing Utility Front Groups’ Spending on Facebook and Instagram

Utility front groups are organizations that appear independent but are established, controlled or funded by a gas or electric utility or trade association. These front groups advocate on behalf of utility interests, often by amplifying misinformation about distributed, renewable energy or electrification, while masking or obscuring the utility’s involvement. Today, as more utilities publicly commit to climate action, they continue to block meaningful climate reform and invest in fossil fuel infrastructure. 

The Energy and Policy Institute’s new tool shows that utilities continue to stall and limit climate action by funding front groups to spread climate misinformation and false solutions to solve the crisis through advertising on social media networks. Using data from the Meta Ad Library API and existing code from Brown University, EPI’s tool exposes the amount each utility front group is spending, between the beginning of 2018 to present, and the specific regions the advertisements target. View our methodology and source code here.

Read our report that analyzes these front group advertisements.

Explore how much utility front groups are spending on ads about social issues, elections or politics across Meta technologies by using the tool below. Click a utility front group to see spending by region.

Posted by Shelby Green