Case Studies

Fostering industry growth through policy solutions

Restrictive government procedures overhauled to help the propane industry reach more consumers

Edu­cat­ing con­sumers on the uses of propane gas and safe­ty best prac­tices is inte­gral to the growth of the propane indus­try. Yet for five years the propane indus­try was pro­hib­it­ed from engag­ing in con­sumer edu­ca­tion­al out­reach due to an out­dat­ed clause in the Propane Edu­ca­tion and Research Act.

To address the prob­lem, AJW worked with NPGA to advance the Propane Edu­ca­tion and Research Enhance­ment Act which cor­rect­ed the flawed admin­is­tra­tive process. AJW gar­nered Con­gres­sion­al sup­port and the bill was swift­ly passed and signed into law.

As a direct result of the solu­tions pro­vid­ed by the new leg­is­la­tion, the Propane Edu­ca­tion and Research Coun­cil (PERC) devel­oped and fund­ed a Con­sumer Safe­ty Pre­pared­ness Cam­paign that increased aware­ness and favor­able impres­sions of propane gas.

Improving Government Programs: The Renewable Fuel Standard

Policy innovation reduced volatility in renewable fuels markets

When ana­lyz­ing the advanced bio­fu­els man­dates estab­lished under the Renew­able Fuel Stan­dard (RFS), AJW rec­og­nized that no mech­a­nism exist­ed to pro­tect against bio­fu­el short­falls and sur­plus­es. This was a seri­ous flaw giv­en the uncer­tain­ty around future pro­duc­tion capac­i­ty.

To solve this prob­lem, AJW worked with long­time client Iogen to devel­op a safe­ty valve. The mech­a­nism cre­at­ed gave the EPA flex­i­bil­i­ty to adjust the man­date accord­ing to avail­able sup­ply and estab­lished a waiv­er cred­it sys­tem to sta­bi­lize the cel­lu­losic bio­fu­els mar­ket in the event of short­falls. AJW then built a broad coali­tion of indus­try stake­hold­ers to help EPA inte­grate these mech­a­nisms into the RFS pro­gram.

Our suc­cess in improv­ing the RFS pro­gram assures bio­fu­el sup­pli­ers a suf­fi­cient mar­ket val­ue for vol­ume pro­duced, enabling clients to make strate­gic invest­ment deci­sions that dri­ve long-term growth of advanced fuels.

Improving Government Programs: The Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Ensuring the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard encourages long-term investment in biofuels

The Low-Car­bon Fuel Stan­dard (LCFS) was enact­ed to pro­mote the use of clean­er fuels in Cal­i­for­nia. When the LCFS was up for re-adop­tion in 2013, AJW saw an oppor­tu­ni­ty to dri­ve low-car­bon fuel demand by advo­cat­ing for improve­ments that would fur­ther sta­bi­lize cred­it mar­kets and expand the LCFS into oth­er polit­i­cal juris­dic­tions.

AJW’s role in improv­ing the LCFS is two-fold. First, we lever­aged our tech­ni­cal exper­tise to cor­rect mar­ket pit­falls in the design of the cred­it clear­ance mech­a­nism. Sec­ond, we devel­oped and ampli­fied com­mu­ni­ca­tions to pol­i­cy­mak­ers about the LCFS ben­e­fits and ways to sta­bi­lize clean fuels mar­kets.

AJW’s mes­sages con­nect­ed LCFS cred­it prices with the accel­er­at­ed deploy­ment of low-car­bon fuels, rein­forc­ing its con­sumer ben­e­fits. We deliv­ered that mes­sage in pub­lic hear­ings, com­ment sub­mis­sions, ARB events, indus­try con­fer­ences, and indi­vid­ual meet­ings with law­mak­ers and reg­u­la­tors. This engage­ment cre­at­ed advo­cates in the state leg­is­la­ture and equipped them with infor­ma­tion that they could eas­i­ly dis­trib­ute across their net­works. We also coor­di­nat­ed a cam­paign that aligned mes­sag­ing among influ­en­tial indus­try orga­ni­za­tions and experts.

The LCFS main­tained a $200 cred­it price cap

Low car­bon fuel demand has remained sta­ble

Influencing regulatory development to ensure strong clean energy markets

Improving federal regulations to encourage third-party delivered energy efficiency

Although ener­gy effi­cien­cy is one of the most cost-effec­tive ways to reduce ener­gy usage and GHG emis­sions, it is often the least con­sid­ered for pol­i­cy sup­port at the fed­er­al and state lev­els. Pol­i­cy that is mis­aligned with mar­ket con­di­tions can impede or pre­vent much-need­ed ener­gy effi­cien­cy projects from hap­pen­ing. AJW iden­ti­fied such an issue with EPA’s Clean Pow­er Plan (CPP), a rule intend­ed to reduce car­bon emis­sions. Rep­re­sent­ing a coali­tion of third-par­ty deliv­ered ener­gy effi­cien­cy providers, we saw an oppor­tu­ni­ty to pro­vide long-term pol­i­cy sup­port for ener­gy effi­cien­cy by coor­di­nat­ing a unit­ed, com­pelling mes­sage among diverse stake­hold­ers.

AJW devised a strat­e­gy that would pre­vent ener­gy effi­cien­cy from being shut out of state plans. To advance move­ment on the reg­u­la­to­ry side, AJW draft­ed and sub­mit­ted exten­sive com­ments, orga­nized meet­ings with mul­ti­ple exec­u­tive branch agen­cies at the fed­er­al and state lev­els, and elicit­ed sup­port from third par­ties.

The col­lab­o­ra­tion we facil­i­tat­ed through out­reach cam­paigns at the state lev­el strength­ened the rela­tion­ships with coali­tion mem­bers, research insti­tu­tions, and advo­ca­cy groups that formed the bedrock of a unit­ed pol­i­cy voice on ener­gy effi­cien­cy. Our com­mu­ni­ca­tions includ­ed white papers, info­graph­ics, and social media cam­paigns on the eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits of increas­ing ener­gy effi­cien­cy. We also pro­mot­ed mar­ket dri­vers such as an ener­gy effi­cien­cy reg­istry (a data­base of ver­i­fied ener­gy sav­ings and emis­sions reduc­tion mea­sures) and car­bon trad­ing plat­forms through mul­ti-stake­hold­er meet­ings and calls.

EPA explic­it­ly cit­ed third-par­ty deliv­ered ener­gy effi­cien­cy as a valid means of com­pli­ance in the Clean Pow­er Plan Final Rule, fed­er­al mod­el plan, and EPA guid­ance.

Ener­gy effi­cien­cy was includ­ed as an ear­ly action incen­tive under the final rule’s Clean Ener­gy Incen­tive Pro­gram.

In the CPP draft Mod­el Trad­ing Rules and Eval­u­a­tion, Mea­sure­ment, and Ver­i­fi­ca­tion (EM&V) Guid­ance, EPA removed lan­guage that would deter states from incor­po­rat­ing ener­gy effi­cien­cy and revised guid­ance that would bet­ter align EM&V with indus­try best prac­tices.

Driving clean energy innovation through smarter industry standards

Advocating for better vehicle emissions standards to support American manufacturing

The Advanced Engine Sys­tems Insti­tute (AESI), man­aged by AJW, rep­re­sents man­u­fac­tur­ers of mobile- source emis­sion con­trol tech­nolo­gies. EPA’s Tier 3 rule, pro­mul­gat­ed in 2014, set stan­dards to reduce tailpipe and evap­o­ra­tive emis­sions and sul­fur con­tent in gaso­line. The rule, which applied to heavy and light-duty trucks as well as medi­um-duty pas­sen­ger vehi­cles, direct­ly affect­ed the cus­tomer demands of AESI mem­bers. In short, the emis­sion stan­dards would sig­nif­i­cant­ly impact busi­ness.

AJW helped ensure that the rule includ­ed stronger stan­dards, there­by improv­ing the long-term busi­ness out­look of the emis­sions con­trol indus­try. First, our team worked close­ly with NGOs to craft a broad, unit­ed mes­sage of sup­port for the rule. AJW then active­ly rein­forced this mes­sage among key influ­encers in Con­gress and the admin­is­tra­tion through pub­lic tes­ti­mo­ny, com­ment sub­mis­sions, and edu­ca­tion­al meet­ings.

AJW’s suc­cess­ful cam­paign result­ed in phased-in stan­dards (2017 – 2025) that facil­i­tate demand and invest­ment in emis­sions con­trol tech­nolo­gies. The pol­lu­tion reduc­tions that result from tighter stan­dards will also con­tribute to improve­ments in pub­lic health.
For more infor­ma­tion on the impact of these stan­dards on pub­lic health indi­ca­tors, vis­it https://​www​.epa​.gov/​a​i​r​-​p​o​l​l​u​t​i​o​n​-​t​r​a​n​s​p​o​r​t​a​t​ion.

Improving the government procurement process

Mobilizing a bipartisan coalition to achieve greater energy efficiency in government buildings

In Decem­ber 2011, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma announced a $2‑billion, 2‑year goal of per­for­mance-based con­tracts in fed­er­al build­ing ener­gy effi­cien­cy. All fed­er­al agen­cies were direct­ed to max­i­mize the use of Ener­gy Sav­ings Per­for­mance Con­tracts (ESPCs) in their efforts to achieve ener­gy sav­ings goals. Imple­men­ta­tion among fed­er­al agen­cies, how­ev­er, was spot­ty through­out 2012 and the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment was well behind sched­ule at the Decem­ber 2012 mid-point of the 2‑year Pres­i­den­tial ini­tia­tive.

Rec­og­niz­ing that the Admin­is­tra­tion was behind sched­ule and unlike­ly to achieve its goal, AJW devised a com­pre­hen­sive leg­isla­tive strat­e­gy to put strong con­gres­sion­al pres­sure on the Admin­is­tra­tion to achieve the per­for­mance con­tract­ing goal. Through tire­less engage­ment on both sides of the aisle, AJW helped estab­lish the House Ener­gy Sav­ings Per­for­mance Cau­cus, a bipar­ti­san cau­cus orig­i­nal­ly chaired by Rep. Cory Gard­ner (R‑CO) and Rep. Peter Welch (D‑VT). AJW coor­di­nat­ed a sim­i­lar bipar­ti­san effort in the Sen­ate, which was chaired by Sen. Chris Coons (D‑DE) and Sen. John Booz­man (R‑AR).
AJW worked close­ly with the House Cau­cus and Sen­ate Coali­tion to devel­op and imple­ment an array of strate­gic con­gres­sion­al ini­tia­tives, includ­ing con­gres­sion­al tes­ti­mo­ny and leg­is­la­tion requir­ing reg­u­lar agency progress reports to Con­gress. Addi­tion­al­ly, AJW devel­oped and coor­di­nat­ed bipar­ti­san and bicam­er­al con­gres­sion­al let­ters to the Pres­i­dent signed by 130-plus Mem­bers urg­ing an exten­sion and expan­sion of the ini­tial $2‑billion, two-year ini­tia­tive.
AJW also exam­ined the agency ESPC process to iden­ti­fy sources of bureau­crat­ic and reg­u­la­to­ry bot­tle­necks and worked with indus­try coali­tions and Fed­er­al agen­cies to address the prob­lems.

Achiev­ing a 5‑year exten­sion of President’s Fed­er­al Build­ings Ener­gy Effi­cien­cy Ini­tia­tive result­ed in:
$4.2 bil­lion in ener­gy per­for­mance con­tracts award­ed by 21 Fed­er­al agen­cies across 340 projects

$8 bil­lion in reduced ener­gy spend­ing over 18 years

30,000 jobs cre­at­ed in Amer­i­can com­pa­nies

55,000 poten­tial ener­gy con­ser­va­tion mea­sures iden­ti­fied by the Depart­ment of Ener­gy

Ener­gy Sav­ings through Pub­lic-Pri­vate Part­ner­ships Act of 2014 H.R. 2689 and S.1308
intro­duced: bill revis­es require­ments for ESPCs to facil­i­tate their use.