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What is a WAIRE Credit, & How Does it Work Financially?

February 04, 20243 min read

“WAIRE carbon-reduction incentives are significant, and there are very specific ways to provide the paperwork properly to win the payback. That's why it makes us happy to take care of this for our customers .” - Robert Koelsch "Kelsh", CEO, AEM

How WAIRE Credits Work - How Reefer Conversions to Zero Emissions TRUs Work

What is a WAIRE Credit, and How Does It Work Financially for our Zero Emissions TRU Conversions? 👊

We talk to cold chain fleet managers and distribution center managers every day, and everyone is trying to figure out how to make zero emissions and carbon reduction efforts, ESG, pay off financially for their warehouse and fleet operations. When we bring up WAIRE credits to them, we’re often asked, “How do WAIRE credits work”? We’re asked often enough, so we thought we’d summarize the basics.

WAIRE stands for Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions. It’s a government standard aimed at improving air quality, particularly in Southern California. WAIRE credits encourage warehouse operators to invest in qualifying assets that reduce nitrogen oxides/NOx, diesel emissions, and particulate matter. Operators earn WAIRE Points by implementing an approved Custom WAIRE Plan, or by paying a mitigation fee. Points earn owners and operators cash rebates, every year. This is a very significant program that can lead to significant paybacks, or it can lead to costly fines.

Primary criteria for leveraging and caring about, or ignoring WAIRE:

1.       Warehouse owner or operator in California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District.

2.       The interior of your warehouse is 100,000 square feet or more.

3.       You lease a warehousing area that is 100,000 sq ft or located inside 250,000 sq ft or larger.

How do WAIRE payments work financially?

1.       Point System: The WAIRE Program operates on a menu-based point system where warehouse operators earn WAIRE Points by undertaking environmentally friendly actions. WAIRE provides a menu of qualifying actions. For Southern CA, is a useful resource. The website is filled with training videos, ways of getting in touch with very useful people, submission deadlines, templates, rules, and opportunities. One Point is generally valued at $1,000.00.

If you qualify under the three criteria listed above, we can write an entire article about why you’ll want to implement whatever you can to comply, versus paying WAIRE mitigation fees. There are ways to make these compliance requirements work for your organization financially, while you’re also contributing to cleaning up the air we breathe.

How many points do you need to meet your WAIRE Points Compliance Obligation (WPCO)?

It’s determined using a complex formula, but here’s a calculator that makes it easy to figure out. It’s based on factors  such as emission levels, truck size/weight/nature, trips taken, size and nature of your operation.

2.       Paperwork: Yes, it requires submissions of what is called a “Warehouse Operations Notification”, for approvals. Approvals earn certain amount of points, and these point turn into ample cash payments back to the operator. We can speak for cold chain reefer fleet operators, it’s well-worth it. Points are earned when owners or operators go above and beyond.

For instance, when operators convert their diesel-powered Carrier or Thermo King TRUs to AEM’s SolarTechTRU, a zero emissions transport refrigeration unit, it completely eliminates the need for diesel fueled TRUs. Since the SolarTechTRU is pure solar-electric and has over a decade of performance data behind it, this qualifies for an ample amount of WAIRE credits. Third party data reports that each TRU eliminates hundreds of tons of carbon toxins from the air, which also saves an average of 20 lives per year.

In the case of the SolarTechTRU conversions, cold chain fleet owners and operators are eliminating major line-item expenses, and also eliminating dangers and regulations.

In a case like this, it’s well-worth the conversions and the paperwork! AEM’s SolarTechTRU is a proven entity, and an approved carbon-reduction asset that has been earning cold chain fleet operators $25,000.00 per Zero Emissions SolarTechTRU, every year.

3.       Financial Benefits: WAIRE credits are paid out every year! If you are an Advanced Energy Machines (AEM) customer, AEM qualifies for many incentives, and AEM takes care of the paperwork for you, every year! The annual paybacks are significant.




AEMAdvanced Energy MachinesSolarTechTRUCarbon ReductionEV ConversionReefer Fleet ConversionsZero Emissions TRUTRU ConversionsCold Chain
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Erika Feinberg, ESG & Communications Officer

Erika is the ESG & Communications Officer for Advanced Energy Machines (AEM) Erika is a #1 top selling author of Purpose, Passion & Profit with a Master’s degree in Human Dynamics. This book highlighted two decades of her innovative leadership style and service strategies as a CEO that created three market-leading businesses known for their disruptive and cause-related value. For decades, Erika has been speaking on stages and winning awards for her approach to service and ESG for businesses in three major market segments; medical, digital marketing, and software technology. She has also served CEO’s of some of the largest global brands in the world such as Oracle Corporation, Intel, Turner Broadcasting, Silver Lake, and Menlo Ventures. Erika is one of the founding investment partners in Social Venture Partners in Arizona, and a respected community programs leader, strategist, communications specialist, service strategies, and a leadership development turnaround expert. Similar to her AEM peers, she consistently exercises an innovative mindset, and a unique ability to bring breakthrough and life-enhancing innovations to market.

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Okay, there's one bonus reason why’s SolarTechTRU is the way to go.

You get the Koelsch
brothers, and how gives back.

Ron and Robert Koelsch have been innovating and commercializing disruptive technology for decades.

The AEM team has powerful backing, and they deliver.

Robert Koelsch, Co-Founder and CEO of, was awarded Alternative Energy Professional of the year by Thomson Reuters, 2022, and again for 2023.

The SolarTechTRU goes the distance more efficiently, reliably, cleanly, and safer than any TRU system on the market - and based on its innovative, patented design, and road test data, it's very likely no other TRU system will come close to its on-road safety and performance data anytime soon.

Zero Emissions, added safety, reduced expenses, and ESG achieved, 8 bolts at a time.

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