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We Are The Leading Energy Advocate for Businesses in the West

About AWEC



AWEC members have an effective voice in rate cases and other regulatory proceedings that directly affect energy costs and profitability. Members of AWEC have the ability to help shape policies and outcomes that affect their energy costs. Members set the priorities and principled positions of the association, which results in a bottom-line payback on their investment in AWEC.


AWEC's origins go back to 1981.  AWEC is a non-profit orgranization comprised of companies in the West who work together.  We have a large and divisersified base of over 40 members and five associate members from which to develop and influence energy policies in the West.


Every day, AWEC works to ensure member businesses are informed and represented through advocating before regulatory agencies and policymakers at the utlity, state, regional, and federal levels.  Our organization centers on the fundamental belief that a healthy, growing business environment promotes a rich and vibrant economy.


AWEC keeps members up to date on all critical energy issues affecting their operations. This information is timely, comprehensive, and understandable. In addition, AWEC experts are on call to answer questions and provide more information on an issue whenever you need it.

Who We Are


The Alliance of Western Energy Consumers is a non-profit organization comprised of the largest, most innovative and trusted employers in the West. AWEC provides a strong advocacy voice in shaping the dynamics of energy markets and regulatory policy in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.  AWEC was formed April 1, 2018, through joining the Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities and the Northwest Industrial Gas Users groups into a single entity.
AWEC members provide tens of thousands of highly paid technical jobs.  AWEC has a large and diversified base of members that represent industries such as agriculture, aeronautics, air products, metals, pulp and paper, information technology, and more.
Our Misson


The mission of AWEC is to be the leading advocate for member businesses in the west on issues related to the use, availability and affordability of electricity and natural gas. AWEC supports sustainable and strong economic growth within the western United States.




Bill Gaines, Executive Director

Bill Gaines' Photo.JPG

AWEC is led by Executive Director Bill Gaines.  Mr. Gaines has broad and deep experience as a leader in the Pacific Northwest energy utility industry. He served for 20 years in senior executive roles at investor owned power and natural gas utility Puget Sound Energy, and at public power entities Seattle City Light and Tacoma Public Utilities.  Bill has been an active leader in both regional and national utility industry trade associations, having served as Chair of the Large Public Power Council and as Vice Chair of the American Public Power Association.  His career has emphasized strategic and energy supply planning, public and regulatory policy, wholesale market development, analytics, regulatory and legal proceedings, and commercial transactions.  His educational background is in engineering and finance.

 2023-2024 AWEC Officers

Officers serve staggered three-year terms.


  • Bruce Martin, Westrock - Chair

  • Phil Zirngibl, Georgia Pacific -Vice Chair 

  • ​Bruce Wittmann, Nippon Dynawave Packaging, Weyerhaeuser NR - Treasurer, Secretary 



  • Energy Strategies, LLC - Strategic Management and Administration, Kevin Higgins and Milli Pichardo.  Energy Strategies is an independent energy consulting firm founded in 1986.  Its clients include large commercial, industrial and public sector energy users and energy project developers.  ES helps large energy users navigate in complex regulatory, market and policy arenas.


  • Davison Van Cleve - Legal Counsel.  Davison Van Cleve specializes in all aspects of energy law, practicing before state and federal administrative entities.  DVC provides valuable advocacy and advice to AWEC and other industrial or commercial customers, co-operative utilities, and cogeneration facilities.  The law firm works with numerous utility commissions, power administrations, regulatory divisions, and business owners to ensure utility regulation is fair and balanced.

  • Cable Huston - Cable Huston represents industrial and commercial retail customers of investor-owned utilities in all aspects of energy and public utility law, as well as municipal-owned governments and consumer-owned utilities, and independent power producers.


  • Public Affairs Counsel - Salem, Oregon Representative.  Public Affairs Counsel lobbies on behalf of AWEC at the Oregon Legislature on energy policy.

  • Houskeeper Public Affairs, LLC - Olympia, Washington Representative.  Houskeeper Public Affairs lobbies on behalf of AWEC before the Washington Legislature on energy policy.

  • Ed Finklea- Natural Gas assistance.  Ed previously served as AWEC’s Director of Natural Gas. Mr. Finklea has been a regulatory attorney in the energy field for  over 35 years.  His experience includes serving as a lawyer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Bonneville Power Administration, and others. 


3519 NE 15th Ave, #249 

Portland, OR  97204-2405

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