(Better Energy Solutions for Tomorrow)
When Exelon proposed Illinois energy legislation that would hurt consumers and clean energy development, Aileron led the coalition that stopped it. Chicago-based Exelon is one of the nation’s largest electric utility holding companies and has the clout to shape energy policies in Illinois and other states. In 2015, Exelon proposed a policy that would have effectively charged Illinois ratepayers $300 million per year in order to pad the company’s profits. A group of businesses and nonprofit organizations formed the Better Energy Solutions for Tomorrow (BEST) coalition to fight this legislation and asked Aileron to lead the coalition’s efforts.
STRATEGIES & IMPLEMENTATION:
Aileron framed the issued and managed the messaging, media relations, coalition building, advertising, social media and lobbying aspects of the campaign. We delivered factual information to educate legislators and the public, helping them understand and oppose Exelon’s bill and paving the way for better renewable energy policy in Illinois.
Messaging and strategy – Aileron worked with the coalition members and lobbyists to ensure that the coalition delivered an effective and consistent message which evolved with changing events. These efforts helped frame the legislation as a bailout for a highly profitable company.
Media relations – Aileron’s efforts to educate journalists on the issue and frame the story resulted in extensive press coverage in outlets such as the Wall St. Journal, the Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business and the Chicago Sun Times.
Research and data – Aileron commissioned a study of the potential economic impact of Exelon’s legislation which created statewide media coverage and an important talking point for legislators. We crafted fact sheets and presentation to help legislators and other stakeholders understand this complex and evolving situation.
Web, advertising and social media – Aileron amplified the coalition’s message in the public by building a coalition website and online advocacy platform, social media channels and radio and display ads.
Exelon’s legislation went nowhere during the 2015 and 2016 sessions and the BEST coalition’s education and outreach helped give a voice for consumers, competition and smart energy policy.