We Are The Leading Energy Advocate for Businesses in the West
WHAT WE DO
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.
AWEC Announces New Executive Director: The Alliance of Western Energy Consumers (AWEC) has appointed Bill Gaines as its new Executive Director, effective January 1, 2022. Mr. Gaines has broad Pacific Northwest utility industry experience, having served in senior executive roles in both Investor-Owned Utilities (Puget Sound Energy), and Public Power entities (Seattle City Light and Tacoma Public Utilities). Gaines has also served in leadership roles in numerous regional energy industry associations, and at the national level as Chair of the Large Public Power Council (LPPC), and Vice Chair of the Board of the American Public Power Association (APPA). Gaines holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and in Business Administration, as well as being a graduate of the Stanford Executive Program. "I look forward to working with the AWEC member companies", Gaines said. "They are the stalwarts of the Pacific Northwest economy, and their needs deserve to be heard and accommodated in our regional energy policy making and rate-setting processes." Gaines succeeds AWEC’s retiring Executive Director John Carr, and Natural Gas Director Ed Finklea. “Over the past decade our organization has flourished under the leadership provided by John and Ed,” said AWEC Board Chair and WestRock Energy Resource Manager Bruce Martin. “AWEC member companies express great appreciation and deep respect for their commitment and longstanding service to the organization.”
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.
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
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.
2022 AWEC Officers
Officers serve staggered three-year terms.
Bruce Martin, Westrock - Chair
Vice Chair - TBD
Michael Padgett, Alcoa - Treasurer
Bruce Wittmann, Nippon Dynawave Packaging, Weyerhaeuser NR - Secretary
Energy Strategies, LLC - Strategic Management and Administration, Kevin Higgins and Kelly Francone. 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.