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How Can You Earn WAIRE Points?

By December 14, 2022Blog, News
Aerial view of solars panels on the roofs of an L-shaped warehouse building.

WAIRE is a program made by the South Coast AQMD, who wanted a points system to modulate warehouse owners and operators for multiple things. This program’s main goals it to make sure warehousing facilities minimize the use of equipment and vehicles that use diesel, nitrogen and other hazardous fuel sources to reduce emissions in California. It would be fair to say that many people are unfamiliar with this program. Many of those who know about it don’t have a clear idea about its importance and what it requires.

If you own or operate a warehouse in California, consider reading further to understand the WAIRE program and how you can earn WAIRE points.

A Program Introduced Out of Necessity

The South Coast AQMD’s WAIRE program was introduced in May 2021 and caught many people by surprise. Despite the reservations of many warehouse facilities, introducing such a program was vital because of the poor situation of the South Coast’s air quality. The past few years have been nothing short of painful for air quality in Los Angeles and other areas as harmful emissions like nitrogen, diesel etc. have damaged the air people breathe.

While this problem is prevalent around the globe, it is becoming quite serious in some places like Orange County, L.A County and other locations in California. With the lives of thousands, if not millions of Californian men, women and children in danger because of poor air quality, the South Coast Air Quality Management District decided to do something to address the situation, which is why it introduced the WAIRE program.

WAIRE is short for Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions and the program’s governing body introduced it to ensure warehouses are more careful about how they use certain fuel sources and work to reduce carbon emissions. The program regulates warehouses that possess a 100,000 square feet space inside one building. Currently, more than four thousand warehouse operators and over three thousand owners have to follow the WAIRE program’s compliance and reporting rules.

Also known as Rule 2305, the WAIRE program has several objectives, one of which includes reducing and dangerous emissions from renowned Californian Counties such as Orange County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County. This program’s founders wanted a solid system that would regulate local and regional warehouses in Californian Counties, making sure they used environmentally friendly fuel alternatives.

Initial Difficulties When Following the WAIRE Program

Majority of the warehouse facilities in California used vehicles and equipment that ran on traditional fuel sources like, liquid nitrogen, and diesel etc. When released into the air, these fuel emissions can be quite hazardous to human, animal and plant life. Upon observing the rapidly deteriorating air quality of the South Coast, the SCAQMD proposed the WAIRE program to get things under control. While this program’s intentions were never under doubt, implementing the changes it requires warehouse facility operators and owners to make is not as easy as one would think. Here are some of the main reasons.

1. The Change Can Disrupt Operations

Warehouse facilities have a particular way to operate every day. Most warehouses in California follow a particular routine, use certain equipment and fuel sources for their day to day operations and changing them right away can disrupt operations. Since the WAIRE program requires them to use environmentally friendly alternatives, not only do warehouses have to shift to eco-friendly fuel but they must also get vehicles and equipment compatible with it, which leads to the next problem.

2. Incorporating the Changes Can be Expensive

Introducing eco-friendly measures can cost warehouses quite a bit, mainly because environmentally friendly equipment can be quite expensive. Plus, when you consider that most warehouses, even the smaller ones have more than one vehicle and equipment for their operations, the cost becomes even larger and almost impossible for operators and owners to bear.

What makes matter worse is the fact that the thousands of Dollars warehouses spend for their traditional machines, trucks and other items that run on fuel often go unused because of the program, making them almost worthless. This is a major reason why many people raised concerns over this program, as they thought the sunken costs would jeopardize their operations.

Despite these issues, however, the WAIRE program has a massive upside for the long term as it could help protect the lives of millions of people by improving the South Coast’s overall air quality. Once warehouse facilities start using equipment and trucks that run on clean energy, their operators and owners can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they are complying with the WAIRE program and playing a part in improving the environment.

Do Warehouse Owners and Operators Get Any Benefits by Earning Points?

The WAIRE program encourages warehouse facilities to use sustainable machines and transportation systems by rewarding them with WAIRE points. What’s more, you can earn WAIRE points for every trip you make on a zero-emission vehicle. The South Coast AQMD knows that there is a massive financial burden on warehouse owners to make their operations environmentally friendly, which is why it lets them purchase WAIRE points. You can get thee points by paying a mitigation fee in order to become compliant with the program’s guidelines.

The WAIRE Points System

The SCAQMD oversees warehouses based in some of California’s most notable Counties to ensure they comply with the WAIRE points system. When warehouse facilities use vehicles and equipment that run on alternative energy sources, they get WAIRE points. While you can earn this program’s points by offering a mitigation fee, you can also check the WAIRE program and perform the different actions and activities mentioned on it. Whatever you choose, make sure the activity is approved in the WAIRE plan.

It is also worth keeping in mind that the South Coast Air Quality Management District offers savings incentives to warehouse facilities that use zero emission vehicles. In some cases, people even earn extra points, which they can use for extra perks like using the points at another time or transferring them to other warehouses, as long as they are owned or operated by them.

Here is How You Can Earn WAIRE Points

The SCAQMD created a detailed points system for the renowned rule 2305. While the ways to get WAIRE points may seem overwhelming initially, they are pretty straightforward. Here are a few things you can do to earn WAIRE points:

  • Providing a mitigation fee can help you get WAIRE points
  • Usage or near zero or zero emission trucks is a surefire way to earn points
  • Substituting vehicles that use traditional fuel sources with electric vehicles will work in your favor
  • Powering your warehouse with solar panels can help you earn some WAIRE points
  • Having a hydrogen filling station in your premises is an effective way to gain some points

These were only some of the man things you need to keep in mind when trying to earn WAIRE points. Check this technical report by the South Coast AQMD for a detailed breakdown on how to get more points.

Things to Keep in Mind about the WAIRE Program Points System

If you operate or own a warehouse in California, it’s important to learn how WAIRE’s points system works. The menu based structure of this program requires its followers to earn a particular number of points every year. The three most common ways to get WAIRE points include:

  1. Going through WAIRE’s extensive menu and performing the different actions discussed in it
  2. Find a site specific and approved WAIRE plan and complete its tasks
  3. Provide an emissions mitigations fee

The WAIRE menu discusses a wide range of activities you can choose to earn points from. If you want to pay the SCAQMD a mitigation fee, make sure you keep in mind that its funds will be used for eco-friendly technologies like commercial solar systems, near zero emission vehicles, fueling stations and charging stations for communities in the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Coldwell Solar Can Help You Comply With WAIRE

Following the WAIRE program can be quite a challenge for many people. While you may understand what the program requires, implementing the changes and ensuring you follow the guidelines to a T can be difficult, especially in the first try. This is where Coldwell Solar can help as we have seasoned pros who know the ins and outs of the WAIRE program and how to best comply with it.

Once you get in touch with us, our solar solutions professionals will carefully evaluate your warehouse and its premises and suggest the best solutions to help you earn WAIRE points. For instance, if your warehouse is located in an area that receives sufficient sunlight, our pro will likely recommend commercial solar energy solutions and tell you about the most optimal place to install them. Steps like this can go a long way in ensuring that you follow the program’s guidelines and play your part in improving the South Coast’s environment.


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