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 Yet for five years the propane industry was prohibited from engaging in consumer educational outreach due to an outdated clause in the Propane Education and Research Act.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/air-pollution-transportation.

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.